Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) key to reaching Net Zero
Brussels, 8 June 2023 – Sustainable aviation is a shared goal across societies, industries and economies. It is right and proper that this crucial debate is had, and is had publicly. In light of scrutiny of the issue over the past few days, the five leading European aviation associations which are close partners in the Destination 2050 decarbonisation roadmap – A4E, ACI EUROPE, ASD, CANSO, and ERA – are reconfirming their support for the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation. In doing so, they are also urging member states to unstick the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation and begin making Europe a leader in SAF production worldwide.
Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) play a decisive role in the decarbonisation roadmap to which the sector has committed.
The international race for SAF leadership has started and EU investors and industrial partners are waiting for a strong policy signal from the legislators to unleash their investments. The EU institutions cannot afford to delay further their decision and the EU to be left behind in terms of decarbonisation and competitiveness. Accelerating the take-up of renewables over the next decade is key to enabling the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy and meeting the EU climate objectives.
The ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation should therefore be complemented with further incentives for production of SAF through their inclusion into the EU Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), mirroring the US approach in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The European aviation industry was the first in the world to commit to the realisation of a net-zero goal for all departing flights by 2050 through DESTINATION 2050. This will be achieved through a combination of four key pillars including improvements in aircraft and engine technologies, the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), economic measures, and improvements to air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations in Europe. We are committed to continuing our constructive and robust engagement with the EU authorities to achieve our shared goal of aviation decarbonisation through ReFuelEU Aviation and the Net Zero Industry Act.
About Destination 2050
Europe’s aviation sector is collectively on board to lead the way in reducing aviation CO2 emissions by 2030 and 2050 – making flying more sustainable for the long term. In February 2021, Europe’s airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers laid out a joint long-term vision along with concrete solutions to the complex challenge of reaching net zero CO2 emissions from all flights departing the EU, UK and EFTA by 2050. The independent report by the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and SEO Amsterdam Economics shows how a combination of actions from all stakeholders – including the EU and national governments – in four key areas could achieve substantial CO2 emissions reductions in line with EU climate goals. These include: Improvements in aircraft and engine technologies (including hybrid, electric and hydrogen propulsion), using sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) both for fixed- and rotary-wing platforms, implementing economic measures and improvements in air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations. For more information, visit http://www.destination2050.eu/.
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