The Single Market for a globally competitive Europe – with a sense of urgency

The report of former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta “Empowering the Single Market to deliver a sustainable future and prosperity for all EU Citizens”, presented yesterday to the EU Leaders at the EU Summit, is based on a fundamental and very sensible premise: a robust, well-functioning and integrated Single Market is essential to make Europe globally competitive.

Among the different aspects of the Single Market, Mr. Letta looked at the “Circular Single Market”, and he highlighted the strategic importance of biomass for the circular economy, which FuelsEurope fully supports. In addition to its use for materials and chemicals, FuelsEurope believes that sustainable biomass will also play a key role supporting the production of renewable fuels for hard-to-abate transport sectors, including a complementary role to electrification in road transport. According to the Imperial College London Consultants study for Concawe, there is enough potential availability of sustainable biomass, mostly in the EU, to cater for the production not just of energy and materials, but also of advanced and waste-based biofuels.

Another important issue of the Single Market Mr. Letta’s report deals with is the Single Market as a key enabler of an enhanced resilience of the EU economy. It is true that, while Europe focuses on securing its oil and gas supply during the energy transition, clean technologies should also be developed and deployed at full speed. We believe a suitable example of clean technologies needed is the liquid fuels' transition “from fossil to renewable”: FuelsEurope calls for a comprehensive Liquid Fuels Transition Strategy, to address the whole supply chain, feedstocks, logistics of collection and transport to the manufacturing plants. Such a Strategy should look at the use of these fuels and products, addressing their role in all modes of transport, and identify the enabling regulatory conditions to incentivise investments, ensure access to finance and protect the international competitiveness of the industry.     

Liana Gouta, Director General FuelsEurope concluded " We welcome the focus on competitiveness and share the strong sense of urgency embedded in this insightful report. We also support the focus on circularity especially when it relates to the use of sustainable biomass or the production of renewable fuels and we believe that Mr. Letta’s call for establishing a strong 'business case' for the clean energy transition, including the adoption of de-risking measures (for example Contracts for Difference) is key for the deployment of new clean technologies that will be needed to achieve the Green Deal’s climate goals."