09 July, 2022

Statement on European Parliament vote on ReFuel EU from A4E

Earlier this week the European Parliament voted in plenary to adopt a large part of the TRAN Committee’s report to increase the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), and support airlines in their climate efforts.


Classification of sustainable aviation fuel and use of feedstock: A4E welcomes the additional efforts made by the European Parliament to ensure that SAFs can be a reliable and legitimate way to help decarbonise air transport. By explicitly excluding certain feed and food crop-based fuels, for example fuels made from palm fatty acid distillates (PFAD), intermediate crops and palm or soy-derived distillates, MEPs have further instilled legitimacy in the SAF system. Passengers can now 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. The success of the ReFuel EU Regulation initiative will reside in its capacity to bring predictability and legitimacy in sustainable aviation fuels.


Blending targets: Like many other elements of the Fit for 55 package, A4E airlines continue to be concerned that future legislation will price out certain passengers or peripheral regions of Europe, leading to a loss of their air connectivity as well as impact the competitiveness of European aviation and its tourism sector. Because SAFs, and especially e-fuels, will remain significantly more expensive than conventional jet fuel in the coming years, it is key that targets remain reasonable and that policy-makers work to limit the cost of the energy transition for passengers. Mechanisms such as a system of SAF allowances through the ETS will help bridge the price gap between SAF and conventional fuels, but risk falling short if not designed to offset the full loss of competitiveness and potential carbon leakage.


Supply flexibility mechanism: A4E welcomes the European Parliament’s decision to consider 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 and could ensure the creation of an efficient supply chain for SAF across the Union.


A single European market for SAF: A4E also welcomes the European Parliament's defense for the single market. Once in place, the European SAF mandate should supplant national mandates and harmonise all relevant legislation in order to avoid fragmentation of the single aviation market in Europe.