European Union takes off towards decarbonizing aviation with new fuel proposal

EU agrees to reduce aviation emissions with new ReFuelEU Aviation proposal.
Can Emir
A lake in the shape of an airplane in the middle of untouched nature
A lake in the shape of an airplane in the middle of untouched nature


The European Union has taken a significant step towards decarbonizing its aviation sector, with the European Parliament and the Council agreeing on the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal, the European Council announced.

The proposal aims to reduce heat-trapping emissions from the aviation sector by requiring fuel suppliers to blend sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with kerosene in increasing amounts from 2025 onwards. The EU's airlines will have access to increasing amounts of sustainable aviation fuel throughout the EU, and the measure is expected to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by around two-thirds by 2050 compared to a "no action" scenario.

The new rules require aviation fuel suppliers to supply a minimum share of SAF at EU airports, starting at 2 percent of overall fuel supplied by 2025 and reaching 70 percent by 2050. The mandate covers biofuels, recycled carbon fuels, and synthetic aviation fuels (e-fuels) in line with the Renewable Energy Directive but excludes food and feed crops, supporting sustainability objectives. The new EU jet fuel blend will also need to contain a minimum share of the most modern and environmentally friendly synthetic fuels, which increases over time.

The packaged agreement

The agreement is part of the Fit for 55 package, which includes updated rules on emissions trading in the aviation and maritime sectors, promoting sustainable fuels for shipping, and accelerating the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The new rules are designed to reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports and improve energy security, with the EU's airports ensuring that their fuelling infrastructure is available and fit for SAF distribution. The mandate will ensure a level playing field within the EU internal market, provide legal certainty to fuel producers and help kick-start large-scale production across the continent. It will also create thousands of new jobs in the energy sector.

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-Ptoresident for the European Green Deal, said in a statement that the EU is ready take-off towards a more sustainable future for aviation. The agreement is a turning point and another important step for European aviation, with EU officials describing the measures as a "survival guide for humanity." The International Energy Agency estimates that aviation accounted for over 2 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2021, and the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal is a crucial step in curbing global heating to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Welcoming in the deal

Transport & Environment, a European umbrella group for NGOs, has welcomed the EU's new green fuels law for aviation. The political agreement now requires formal adoption by the Parliament and the Council, with the new legislation entering into force with immediate effect. The EU's agreement on aviation fuel is a significant step towards decarbonization and sustainability in the aviation sector and sets a precedent for other regions to follow in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU's agreement on aviation fuel is an essential step towards meeting the Paris climate accord's goals and limiting the tipping points that could lead to a dramatic shift in Earth's entire life support system. The ReFuelEU Aviation proposal is a significant move towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring sustainability, and promoting renewable energy. The EU is setting an example for other regions to follow in their pursuit of a more sustainable future.

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