Government in favour of the EU proposal concerning alternative fuels

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 14.3.2013 13.58
News item

The EU Commission has committed itself to the promotion of alternative fuels to increase their use and to enable uniform operation of traffic in the whole of Europe. The government of Finland supports the aim of the Commission.

According to the Government, the minimum requirements for the distribution of alternative fuels and electricity presented to the Member States by the Commission leave Finland enough room to manoeuvre regarding its own implementation approach. Moreover, the determined advance of the Commission creates the necessary stable operational environment for launching investments, supports Finnish aims and provides some momentum in international negotiations.

The Commission presented its programme proposal, schedule and regulation proposals concerning the use of alternative fuels on 24th January 2013.The Government sent the Parliament a brief concerning the Commission's proposals on 14th March 2013.

The schedule suits Finland

The deployment schedule presented by the Commission for the fuels is tight, but it is necessary to take action soon to ensure uniform and comprehensive distribution of alternative fuels in Europe.

The Ministry will soon conclude its national work on future motive powers, which will include a separate section on the promotion of the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in shipping. Long-term work to increase electric traffic has also been carried out in Finland.

The Government also takes the view that the Commission's programme and regulations speed up, among other things, the creation of infrastructure required by new fuels and encourage the manufacturers of vehicles to develop interoperable equipment for the use of consumers and businesses. This opens up new opportunities for action for Finnish expertise and companies.

The latest view of Finland as the leading environmentally-friendly country in maritime matters was expressed by Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO): he hoped that other countries would follow that lead.

In addition to special maritime topics, there is particularly strong expertise in Finland in the production of sustainable biofuels as well as in the solutions of electric traffic and smart traffic that is closely connected with it. For novel solutions and innovations, the challenging northern climate provides a development environment which is arousing interest also abroad.