Sustainable aviation fuels

Briefing 23-11-2020

As part of the European Green Deal adopted in December 2019, which highlights the importance of boosting development of alternative fuels, the European Commission envisages a proposal in early 2021 to support the increased production and use of sustainable aviation fuels, so as to meet Paris Agreement climate change goals. A number of policy measures are already in place to increase sustainable aviation fuel use, but production and use of these fuels in Europe remains low. Eight different pathways for producing sustainable aviation fuels that can be used without changes to aircraft or refuelling infrastructure have been authorised, but a number of technical, feedstock-related and commercial barriers exist. Development of electro-fuels, which also represent a 'drop-in' type of fuel with potential to help efforts towards carbon neutrality in aviation, is considered technically viable but would require policy action for commercial development. The Commission is conducting a public consultation and is studying a number of policy measures, including a mandatory minimum share of sustainable aviation fuels to be supplied to airlines and/or to be used by airlines and a financial and technical support mechanism to promote the production and use of these fuels.