14 September, 2023

European aviation industry looks forward to global progress following adoption of European legislation on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

The five leading European aviation associations representing Europe’s airlines, airports, civil aeronautics industry and air navigation service providers, which are close partners through the DESTINATION 2050 alliance – A4E, ACI EUROPE, ASD, CANSO Europe, and ERA – welcomed the adoption of the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation and look forward to further SAF deployment globally. 

The adoption marks an important and timely step necessary to realising the ambitious decarbonisation targets set out in the DESTINATION 2050 roadmap. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) are a crucial component of this roadmap and today’s adoption of the ReFuelEU legislation lays the foundation for ambitious blending shares of SAF in aviation fuel. 

While EU investors and industrial partners have now received a clear signal to unleash their investments, the EU shall ensure that the required uptake of SAF consumption will boost the European SAF industry. The international race to become a SAF leader has started and the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation should therefore be complemented with further incentives to scale up SAF production and uptake in Europe through their inclusion into the EU Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) as part of the strategic net-zero technologies, mirroring the US approach in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

Aviation is global by nature and we need to ensure the decarbonisation of aviation is global as well. The European air transport sector strongly encourages the wider promotion of SAF around the world. The DESTINATION 2050 partners call on states and the wider aviation industry across all world regions and at global level to join forces and rally around ambitious and credible SAF objectives – to ensure aviation globally remains on track to attain the ICAO Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) of global net-zero carbon emissions for aviation by 2050.
 
Political support for the net-zero future of aviation is key. It requires policies and incentives that scale up the global development and production of SAF. 

A robust worldwide climate policy framework for SAF is needed. The November 2023 ICAO Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) is a unique opportunity to put in place the right milestones and to deliver ambitious targets for SAF deployment worldwide.