New agency will oversee biofuel regulations

A new agency has been created to oversee the introduction of regulations requiring 5% of all fuel sold in the UK by 2010 to come from biofuels.

Transport secretary Ruth Kelly announced the creation of the Renewable Fuels Agency, which will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation after it comes into force in April.

The regulations will apply to all refiners, importers and any other companies who supply more than 450,000 litres of fossil-based road transport fuel to the UK market, and are expected to save 2.6m to 3m tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Ms Kelly said: “The creation of the Renewable Fuels Agency marks a big step forward in creating a strong, long-term market for biofuels in the UK.

“I want the agency to make sure the Obligation is run efficiently and effectively, but I also want it to take the lead in making sure the biofuels we use in this country come from sustainable sources, saving the most carbon possible.”

The chairman of the agency will be Professor Ed Gallagher, former chief executive of the Environment Agency.

He said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we face today and I am convinced that biofuels can have an important role in tackling it. But it is essential that they are truly sustainable.

“I am looking forward to working with the oil industry, biofuel companies, environmental groups, motorists and the general public to ensure that biofuels fulfil their potential.”

The board of the agency will also include Greg Archer, director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, Paul Jefferiss, director of environmental policy at BP, Gareth Llewellyn, director for safety, health, environmental and corporate responsibility for the National Grid, and Brian White, director of biofuel trading company BionerG Ltd.

The chief executive of the agency is expected to be appointed early next year.

Kate Martin

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