The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a proposal to mandate sustainable aviation fuel usage targets for airlines in Europe.
The approved ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation will require airlines to increase their use of sustainable fuels for flights departing from EU airports (known as the blending mandate) from 2025.
Airlines must ensure that 2 percent of fuel is from sustainable sources in 2025. The target will then increase to 6 percent in 2030, 20 percent in 2035 and then 70 percent by 2050.
From 2025 airlines will also be able to market flights with EU label for environmental performance. The label will indicate the expected carbon footprint per passenger as well as the expected CO2 efficiency per kilometer, allowing passengers and companies to compare the carbon footprint of flights operated by different airlines on the same route.
MEP José Ramón Bauzá Díaz said: “This is a tremendous step towards the decarbonization of aviation. It is now time for EU governments to implement the new rules and support the industry to ensure the cost-effective deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuels across Europe as well as meeting EU targets. There is no time to lose. In a complex and competitive world, I fully believe that ReFuelEU is a great opportunity to position the European Union as a global leader in the production and use of SAF.”
Europe’s five leading aviation associations—A4E, ACI Europe, ASD, CANSO Europe and ERA—also welcomed the adoption of ReFuelEU, hailing it “an important and timely step” in realizing the European Green Deal initiative to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050.
“While EU investors and industrial partners have now received a clear signal to unleash their investments … the European air transport sector strongly encourages the wider promotion of SAF around the world,” the associations said in a statement, adding that the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation should be “complemented with further incentives” to scale up SAF production and use in Europe.
EU countries must now approve the directive before it can pass into law.
As part of the wider European Green Deal, the ReFuelEU regulation will be overseen by Maroš Šefčovič, who recently replaced Frans Timmermans as executive vice-president of the initiative.
Originally published by BTN Europe.