On 10 March 2016 UPEI held an international conference „Post Paris: Future of Automotive Fuels“ in Prague, in cooperation with its Czech members (W.A.G. Payments Solutions and SČS – Union of Czech Petroleum Independents) and ČAPPO (Czech Association of Petroleum Industry and Trade). 

The conference, which was moderated by Attila Dsupin (former Head of the MOL Group in the Czech Republic), focussed its discussions on the impact of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (PCC) on automotive fuels and the transition towards a low carbon mobility and economy. The challenges ahead were examined from the political, environmental, economic, scientific and technical points of view by speakers from the public, private and NGO sectors.

The participants at the conference called for greater realism by European policy makers in the management of the transition to a low carbon economy. Concluding the conference, UPEI President, Thierry De Meulder, stressed that “we need to end the anti-oil rhetoric and embrace the opportunities for change that this product brings. Europe has decided on targets for GHG emissions, energy efficiency and the integration of renewables.  We don’t need to discuss the “if” anymore – but we do need to be realistic about ‘when’ and ‘how’”. 

De Meulder stressed that Europe’s independent fuel suppliers can be partners in this transition. They dispose of a comprehensive infrastructure network and have a thorough knowledge of their customers’ needs, being the closest to the consumer. But in order to be partners in the transition, they urgently need transparency on the market situation so that the right investment conditions can be created to finance the transition.  

“Oil will remain in the fuel mix for the foreseeable future. This is a good thing as, currently, oil provides the best opportunity for lowering GHG emissions in transport through the blending of biofuels. Independent fuel suppliers were the first to bring biofuels to the market. They are ready to go further and invest in other solutions – but the right investment climate needs to be created.”