BRUSSELS: Air France-KLM, easyJet, Ryanair and Deutsche Post DHL have announced their support for the European Commission’s ReFuelEU plan to encourage greater use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The proposal would ensure the share of SAF used in the bloc grows from almost nothing now to at least 2.0 percent in 2025, 5.0 percent in 2030 and – after subsequent five-year steps – 63 percent in 2050. These targets are known as blending mandates and cover advanced biofuels, which exclude traditional types that risk competing with food production.
Currently under review by EU national governments and the European Parliament, the plan is part of a package of draft climate legislation meant to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 55+ percent against pre-industrial levels by 2030, and make the bloc climate-neutral by mid-century.
While commending the European Commission for its exclusion of food and feed crop-based biofuels, the group has urged EU legislators to strengthen the proposal by adding:
1) Earlier and more ambitious sub-targets for e-kerosene.
2) Financial support to enable new biofuel feedstocks, under strict sustainability criteria.
3) The creation of a European SAF industrial alliance with a focus on research and development.
4) A comprehensive SAF registry applying to fuel suppliers.
Convened by the European Climate Foundation and ClimateWorks with technical support from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the initiative is supported by the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (AIREG), AirFrance-KLM, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, DPDHL, easyJet, the European Cockpit Association, Natuur & Milieu, Ryanair, sustainable fuel supplier SkyNRG and consultants Transport & Environment.
In a joint statement they say the ReFuelEU proposal “marks a tremendous step forward” for fuels policy and integrates many of the best practices learned from the past decade of European experience.
"Europe urgently needs to provide investment security for the most sustainable aviation fuels, while avoiding the risk of lock-in to those fuels that have no place in our zero-emissions future,” said Pete Harrison, executive director for EU policy at the European Climate Foundation. “By joining forces, our diverse group has been able to craft future-proof guidance.”
In a study published last month, the ICCT concluded hydrogen-powered aircraft could provide carbon-free air travel for up to a third of global passenger demand from 2035 and aircraft burning green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy, could power flights up to 3,400 km at reduced fuel cost compared to SAF.
easyjet said it fully supports the ICCT conclusion that “significant government support will be needed to make hydrogen aircraft work” and that “they deserve a level playing field along with ‘drop-in’ sustainable aviation fuels, which remain scarce and expensive.”
Story Type: News
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