Members' Research Service By / February 2, 2022

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

In June 2021, the European Climate Law was adopted, setting into 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 (4th edition, updated on 08.12.2022).

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 includes a proposal to ensure a level playing field for sustainable air transport, also known as the ReFuelEU Aviation initiative.

In the draft regulation, the Commission proposes obligations on fuel suppliers to distribute sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), with an increasing share of SAF (including synthetic aviation fuels, commonly known as e-fuels) over time, in order to increase the uptake of SAF by airlines and thereby reduce emissions from aviation. The proposal also includes obligations on 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 related to extra weight of aircraft carrying excessive amounts of fuel.

In the European Parliament, the file has been referred to the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) as the lead committee. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) are associated under Rule 57.

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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)
Julie Lechanteux (ID, France)
Kosma Złotowski (ECR, Poland)
Clare Daly (The Left, Ireland)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on
equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Completion of trilogue negotiations
Stage: Trilogue

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