Newsletter 1.2021

Dear reader,

Welcome to the first EUROFUEL newsletter of 2021. Ahead of what will be an incredibly busy year in terms of legislative initiatives, in this edition we will focus on the latest EU climate and energy policy developments as well as take stock of some of the main activities of our association in 2020.

The agreement reached by EU leaders during the last European Council on a new emission reduction target of 55% by 2030 reinforces once again Europe’s climate neutrality quest. The regulatory conditions to make this new target feasible will be proposed throughout 2021 by the European Commission under the so called “Fit for 55” package. A complete overhaul of the EU climate and energy policy is to be expected.

In such an evolving and challenging environment, our industry must step up its game to explain policy-makers the need for heating oil and the essential role low carbon fuels can play to achieve EU’s climate objectives while making the transition acceptable for society as a whole. That’s why in this edition we decided to also recall some of the main highlights and successes related to our industry’s engagement and communications activities. Following on this path will be crucial to represent the voice of our industry in the coming months and years!


Dr Ernst-Moritz Bellingen


2021: the turning year

The last months of 2020 saw key policy developments preparing the ground for the ambitious legislative proposals expected next year. The “Fit for 55” legislative package, announced in October by the Commission, will make the coming year the turning point in the context of the European Green Deal and the wider EU climate policy.

An additional push in favour of the Commission’s agenda came during the last European Council Summit of 2020 on 10-11 December. Beyond agreeing to allocate at least 30% of the total €1.8 trillion budget package, EU leaders found a compromise on an EU-wide goal of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. The new target matches the one suggested by the European Commission in September, paving the way for the set of legislative proposals of the “Fit for 55” package next year.

European Green Deal

Another important step in this direction took place on 17 December when EU’s Environment Ministers met for the last Environment Council of the year. Confirming the agreement achieved a week earlier by EU leaders, Environment Ministers also adopted their final position on the European Climate Law. This represented a key step to re-ignite the ongoing negotiations on the file with the European Parliament, that in October 2020 endorsed a 60% reduction target. An agreement on the file is expected for the first months of 2021 under the Portuguese Presidency. Once completed, the European Climate Law will constitute the cornerstone of the Green Deal. Enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality goal into law and setting intermediate GHG emission reduction targets, the law will establish the regulatory structure to achieve the EU’s climate objectives as well as the framework conditions under which the “Fit for 55” package will be pursued.

In light of these developments, it is fair to say that 2021 will be a deeply transformative year, putting the basis for the overhaul of EU energy and climate policy. From the heating oil industry perspective, attention must be paid to many of the upcoming legislative initiatives. Ranging from the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive to the review of existing renewable energy and energy efficiency rules, our industry will be inevitably impacted by these proposals. Being prepared for these changes is therefore not only desirable, but also essential to face the political and regulatory challenges expected in the coming years. Luckily, despite the enormous difficulties faced this year, all along 2020 our industry has demonstrated of being capable to find engaging solutions to communicate the benefits and the innovations of heating oil. An overview of the key activities is outlined in the paragraph below.


An evolving industry: key highlights of 2020

Going through the key activities we have developed this year is not only important to be aware of the considerable achievements we have achieved, but it is also useful to keep developing innovative and engaging solutions to promote our industry in the years to come.


Innovative communications

By developing an interactive webpage showcasing the best practices of our industry in developing low carbon heating fuels, this summer we have raised our game in the area of communications.

Interactive Communications

Including interviews, infographics and videos, the webpage clearly shows the concrete solutions provided by our sector to decarbonise heating. The permanent nature of the content allows us to keep disseminating the webpage amongst policymakers and relevant stakeholders both in Brussels and at the national level.


High-level outreach

The first International Conference on liquid heating fuels in a carbon constrained world, co-organised at the end of the summer by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) and Eurofuel, represented a milestone for our international engagement. It was also a great occasion to test our messages with new audiences and keep communicating about the benefits of heating oil and the important role it can play in a low carbon future.

The Conference has been a big success, with about 40 speakers who spoke over the course of 4 days to an audience of more than 100 participants per day.

high level outreach

 Rebranding: case study from Ireland

Fuels for IrelandRelevant developments are happening also at the national level, as heating oil associations are constantly evolving to better adapt their messages in a changing environment. A great example in this regard comes from Ireland where the Irish Petroleum Industry Association rebranded as Fuels for Ireland. The founding vision document ‘Powering today and tomorrow’ sets out the priorities for the sector in the country.

Technology neutrality, the need for pragmatic solutions for consumers and the combination of more efficient boilers and low carbon liquid fuels are some of the pillars guiding the association in the future. This rebranding can definitely serve as a source of inspiration for our industry.  


Rebranding: case study from Germany

IWOThe Institute for Heat and Oil Technology becomes the Institute for Heat and Mobility with immediate effect. The 33 IWO members - companies in the mineral oil industry, mineral oil wholesalers and foreign trade as well as medium-sized energy trading - have decided to rename the company.

The institute, which was founded in 1984, will now also be committed to the development and distribution of alternative, increasingly CO2-neutral fuels in the transport sector. These include advanced biofuels that are made from different raw material sources, as well as electricity-based synthetic fuels (e-fuels).

“Our industry needs a competence center for liquid energy carriers of the future in order to illustrate their potential for a successful energy transition and the achievement of climate targets. An IWO with a broader thematic structure will fill this role very well” said IWO CEO Jörg Debus. The decision to rename and expand IWO's tasks is a “strong statement” from the industry in favor of new, low-carbon liquid fuels.