The Commission welcomes the recent political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the ReFuelEU aviation proposal. Once in place, the new rules will help decarbonise the aviation industry by requiring fuel suppliers to increasingly blend renewable jet fuels (SAF) with kerosene from 2025.
This measure alone is expected to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by about two-thirds by 2050 compared to a 'no action' scenario, and provide climate and air quality benefits by reducing non-CO2 emissions.
The deal marks the final agreement on the transport proposals within the 'Fit for 55' package. Agreements have already been reached on updated rules for emission trading in the aviation sector and in the maritime sector, on the promotion of sustainable fuels for shipping and on the accelerated deployment of infrastructure for alternative fuels.
Increasing amounts of sustainable jet fuels
The new rules require:
- jet fuel suppliers must provide a minimum share of SAF at EU airports, starting at 2% of the total fuel delivered in 2025 and rising to 70% by 2050. The EU's new jet fuel blend will also have to contain a minimum share of the most modern and environmentally friendly synthetic fuels, which will increase over time.
- aircraft operators departing from EU airports to refuel only with the fuel required for the flight, to avoid emissions related to extra weight or carbon leakage caused by 'fuelling' practices (deliberately carrying excess fuel to avoid refueling with SAF) .
- Airports to ensure their refueling infrastructure is available and suitable for SAF distribution.
The blending mandate covers biofuels, recycled carbon fuels and synthetic jet fuels (e-fuels) in line with the Renewable Energy Directive, but excludes food and feed crops, in support of sustainability goals. As it will apply across the EU, the new mandate will ensure a level playing field within the EU's internal market, provide legal certainty to fuel producers and help to kick-start large-scale production across the continent. It will also increase the EU's energy security by reducing dependence on energy products from third countries and creating thousands of new jobs in the energy sector. EU airlines will have access to increasing amounts of sustainable jet fuel across the EU.
The political agreement reached recently must now be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council. Once this process is complete, the new legislation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force immediately.
This agreement is an important step towards the implementation of the Commission's 'Fit for 55' legislative package and will help deliver the EU's climate ambitions under the European Green Deal.
Aviation emissions in Europe increased by an average of 2013% year-on-year between 2019 and 5. Although aviation emissions are falling dramatically during the pandemic, they are still expected to continue to increase. The increased climate ambition of the aviation sector will be crucial for the EU to meet its climate targets under the Paris Agreement and deliver on the European Green Deal.
To achieve climate neutrality, the EU must reduce transport emissions by 2050% by 90 (compared to 1990 levels). RefuelEU Aviation will help the aviation sector achieve that goal, along with the revised rules for the EU emissions trading system in the aviation sector, said the Europese Commissie.