A significant milestone for sustainable aviation fuel in Europe

This article was prepared with materials provided by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA)

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 – have 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. 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.

The CAAF/3 event provides a platform for setting targets for SAF deployment on a global scale and advancing the collective effort towards sustainable aviation and the ultimate goal of a net-zero carbon emissions future.

CAAF/3 will bring together high-level officials from States who have the authority to make policy-related decisions. International organizations directly involved in aviation clean energy are invited to participate as observers. The agenda for CAAF/3 includes:

  • The latest developments in cleaner energy technology for international aviation and its contribution to the Long-Term Global Aspirational Goal
  • Supporting policies to promote the development and deployment of cleaner energy for aviation
  • Assistance and capacity building for cleaner energy
  • Financing cleaner energy
  • Reviewing the 2050 ICAO Vision for SAF, including LCAF and other cleaner energy for aviation, in order to define a global framework

For more information on the CAAF event that will be held in November, click here. To learn more about ICAO’s commitment to meeting the 2050 Long-Term Aspirational Goal, click here.

EnvironmentEuropeLong-term Aspirational GoalLTAGnet-zero carbon emissionsSAFsustainable aviation fuels