23. September 2021 Meghan Sapp

Consortium demands Biden administration cut airplane pollution through standards and not SAF

In Washington, 100 environmental, community and public-health groups called on the Biden administration to set strong standards to cut airplane pollution and avoid industry-promoted biofuel greenwashing.

As the letter notes, the Biden administration has yet to announce any efforts to replace useless Trump-era standards, despite saying they need review.

Instead, earlier this month Biden officials announced tax breaks and voluntary programs to boost airlines’ reliance on biofuel, also known as “sustainable aviation fuel.”

In January the Trump administration finalized airplane greenhouse gas emission standards that the Environmental Protection Agency admits don’t actually reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The rules, which mirror those adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, are too weak to address the severity of the climate crisis.

A previous analysis of those international standards found that most airlines in the United States, covering more than three-quarters of aviation demand, already meet the standards. By the time the rule goes into effect in 2028, the EPA expects all airplanes to already comply with the standards or be phased out. As a result, the agency doesn’t project any emissions reductions from the rule.

The Center, along with Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club, both of which are represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, challenging the rule.

Last year the Center released a report that explained how climate pollution from U.S. aviation could be cut by three-quarters or more in the next 20 years.