David McAllister (MEP): On sustainable Aviation Fuels
On 14 July 2021, the European Commission presented the Fit for 55 package which includes a proposal to increase the use of sustainable fuels, known as the ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative. On 25 April 2023, the negotiators of the European Parliament, EU Member States and the European Commission reached a deal on the new law.
The proposed new rules oblige fuel suppliers to supply an increasing share of SAFs as part of the fuel supplied at EU airports, which would substantially reduce emissions from air transport. For example, in 2025, the minimum share of SAFs supplied should be 2%. In 2030, the minimum share of SAFs would be 6%, increasing to 20% from 2035 and 70% from 2050. In addition, a specific proportion of the fuel mix (1.2% in 2030, 2% in 2032, 5% in 2035 and progressively reaching 35% in 2050) must comprise synthetic fuels like e-kerosene.
Currently, only around 0.05 percent of the fuels powering Europe’s planes is green, whereas aviation creates 13.9% of the emissions from transport in the EU and account for about 3% of the EU’s total GHG emissions.
We want European planes to use the most sustainable fuels. These can be specific biofuels (compliant with the Renewable Energy Directive sustainability criteria), recycled carbon fuels or hydrogen. We must ramp up the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) market in Europe to reduce CO2 emissions coming from air transport.
Since SAFs can be up to ten times more expensive than jet kerosene now used for planes, we must invest much more in the development and deployment of sustainable fuels ‘made in Europe’, to push down costs and to make sure regional connectivity is not affected.
The unprovoked Russian aggression in Ukraine has taught us a lesson and we must do everything possible to avoid another fuel dependency. European planes should fly with SAFs made in Europe.
We want to make the supply chain of SAFs as effective as possible. Now, several European airports are facing challenges to supply SAFs. This is why the EPP Group wants fuel suppliers and operators to have more flexibility. We want the operators to be able to purchase SAFs without being physically connected to the supply but from where SAFs are actually available instead (‘book and claim’).
We must do everything possible to protect the European aviation sector. The new rules for SAFs must ensure that non-European companies such as Turkish Airlines do not push out European companies such as, for example, Lufthansa or Polish LOT.