Members' Research Service By / February 2, 2022

ReFuelEU Aviation initiative: Sustainable aviation fuels and the fit for 55 package [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Climate Law, adopted in June 2021, set in law the EU target for 2030 of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 % compared with 1990 levels, in line with priorities set out in the Green Deal.

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Written by Jaan Soone (5th edition, updated on 30.08.2023).

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, compared with 1990 levels – the ‘fit for 55’ package. The package included a proposal for a regulation to ensure a level playing field for sustainable air transport, also known as the ReFuelEU Aviation initiative.

The proposed regulation obliges fuel suppliers to distribute sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), with an increasing share of SAF (including synthetic aviation fuels, or e-fuels) over time, in order to increase the uptake of SAF by airlines and thereby reduce emissions from aviation. It also obliges airlines to limit the uptake of jet fuel before departing from EU airports to what is needed for safe operation of flights, with the aim of ensuring a level playing field for airlines and airports, and avoiding additional emissions relating to the extra weight of aircraft carrying excessive amounts of fuel.

In the European Parliament, the file was referred to the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) as the lead committee. The Committees on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) were associated under Rule 57. The co-legislators have reached a provisional agreement on the proposed regulation; they now need to endorse and formally adopt it.

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Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport
Committee responsible:Transport and Tourism (TRAN)COM(2021) 561
Rapporteur:José Ramón Bauzá Díaz (Renew, Spain)2021/0205(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, Portugal)
Erik Bergkvist (S&D, Sweden)
Ciarán Cuffe (Greens/EFA, Ireland)
Kosma Złotowski (ECR, Poland)
Marco Campomenosi (ID Group, Italy)
Clare Daly (The Left, Ireland)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly
Next steps expected: Approval of trilogue agreement
EU Legislation in progress timeline

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