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MEPs to vote on greener flights in new rules for aviation fuels

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Today, Members of the European Parliament will debate setting the first EU target for a pathway to more sustainable aviation, following the outcome of trilogue negotiations. From 2025 on, EU planes will have to fly using more sustainable fuels. The Greens/EFAGroup successfully pushed for more ambitious targets, particularly when it comes to e-fuels. Our Group also succeeded in adding a ban on the use of palm and soy-based biofuels for aviation and for a roadmap to tackle the non-CO2 emissions of aviation. The final vote on Wednesday is expected to pass with a large majority in favour of the initiative.

Ciáran Cuffe MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on ReFuelEU, comments: 

“ReFuelEU is the first international agreement of its kind and can encourage other regions to get on board with greener airline fuels. The aviation industry needs to play its part in tackling the climate crisis and start putting fossil fuels on the No-Fly list. This regulation marks a departure from the industry’s reliance on heavily polluting fuels. 

“We cannot stand by hoping that aviation will magically electrify overnight. We can and must take all steps possible to green aviation fuels. That is why we welcome the requirement to gradually increase the use of e-kerosene in the aviation fuel mix. This regulation will help research and innovation into greener alternatives to traditional kerosene take off and make Europe the leader on the path towards more sustainable aviation. The most sustainable form of transport remains taking a train or not flying at all, which is why it is essential we focus on improving greener options for travel.

“ReFuelEU is also taking steps towards tackling the non-CO2-related effects of flying, which can make the environmental impact of aviation almost three times worse than the CO2 emissions. This regulation ensures the monitoring of aromatic and sulphur content levels in jet fuel, and the Commission will have to come forward with measures to optimise their levels in fuels by 2027. This can be done much faster, however, and we urge the Commission to come forward with measures by 2025 to reduce these harmful effects.

“Our group successfully excluded the use of palm and soy based biofuels for aviation, which could lead to deforestation. The aviation industry needs to jettison the fuels of the past and fly towards a greener future.”


European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
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Ciarán Cuffe
Ciarán Cuffe

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