A4E comment on the plenary vote on ReFuel EU aviation on 7 July
On Thursday 7 July, the European Parliament will vote on a key piece of the future regulatory landscape that will enable airlines to meet their decarbonisation pledges.
The upscaling of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) is a pivotal measure to decarbonise aviation in the short to medium term. For this reason, A4E supports large parts of the ReFuel-EU Aviation initiative. Once finalised, the Regulation will send important signals to the market and to the public regarding efforts needed to decarbonise air transport.
Ahead of the vote however, A4E is concerned about several aspects of the European Parliament’s position:
- Classification of sustainable aviation fuel: A4E urges MEPs to revert to the European Commission-proposed definition of ‘sustainable aviation fuel’. A4E is concerned that the compromise reached at the Committee level to expand the eligibility criteria to include unsustainable feedstock until the middle of the next decade could put further pressure on food/feed production and exacerbate deforestation. It is essential that passengers trust that the ramp up of sustainable fuels in the coming years will not occur at the expense of food supplies for people or animals, nor damage our environment. SAFs must be truly sustainable without any compromise.
- Supply flexibility mechanism: A4E urges MEPs to support the possible introduction of a flexibility mechanism to supply SAF in a cost-efficient way across the Union in the spirit of a book and claim system. Such a system would avoid unnecessary logistics and bureaucracy, thereby ensuring a sustainable and efficient supply chain, without the need for physical supply at all airports.
- Blending targets: To reduce the pressure on a limited pool of sustainable feedstock, A4E recommends focusing on quality instead of quantity in the early years of the mandate and aim at an overall SAF ambition of 5% in 2030, as proposed by the European Commission.