Aviation Transport

In 2018, GHG emissions from international aviation accounted for 3.2% in the EU-27 and the aviation market is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades, making it one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) forecasted that by 2050 international aviation emissions could triple compared with 2015 level.

FuelsEurope welcomes the Commission’s Fit for 55 Package in that it contains constructive proposals for the decarbonisation of transport, including aviation, and developing the policy framework necessary for the transition of the fuels industry. The ReFuelEU Aviation initiative aims to boost the supply and demand for sustainable aviation fuels in the EU, in order to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint and enable it to help achieve the EU’s climate targets.

A significant reduction of the CO2 emissions of the aviation sector will require a holistic approach at the global level since  aviation  is  primarily  a  global  industry. Hence  global  commitments  are  preferred  over  regional initiatives  to  ensure  the  competitiveness  of  the  aviation  sector  and  its  supply  of  fuel.  The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the aviation sector has created the need for support  to  both  ensure  quick  recovery  while  maintaining  the  transition to a  sustainable  aviation sector.

The following principles should be contemplated:

– Coherence between the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the EU ETS for aviation should be aimed for to avoid double regulation for international aviation. If free allowances under the EU ETS for aviation are reduced or eliminated, competitiveness safeguards should be provided.

– The ability to trade compliance certificates uniformly and across the EU between obligated parties is necessary to allow a cost-effective compliance for all participants involved in the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels.

– The improvement of the energy efficiency of engines over time, something that is already well underway by the use of increasingly more efficient airplanes;

– The reduction of unnecessary CO2 emissions in all the operational aspects of flying activities, both on the ground and in the air (e.g. implementation of Single European Sky);

– The continued growth in the use of sustainable alternative fuels.

FuelsEurope supports the introduction of a combination of policies aiming to promote the faster development and deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) on all intra-EU flights with a review to include international flights to reduce CO2 emissions from the EU aviation sector. With the proper policy framework in place, the EU has the potential to deliver the required SAF needed to enable it to reach the EU’s overall climate objective.

Read our position paper on regulatory options to promote a faster deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in the EU here.

Read our ‘Fit for 55’ recommendations here.