29. June 2022 Meghan Sapp

European Parliament committee members adopt draft SAF rules

In Belgium, MEPs on the Transport and Tourism Committee adopted a draft negotiating mandate on the ReFuelEU aviation rules by 25 votes to six and three abstentions on Monday. The adopted text aims to increase the uptake of sustainable fuels by aircraft operators and EU airports to cut emissions from aviation and ensure Europe becomes climate neutral by 2050.

MEPs amended the proposed definition of sustainable aviation fuel, a term that covers synthetic fuels or certain biofuels, produced from agricultural or forestry residues, algae, bio-waste or used cooking oil.

They included under their definition recyclable carbon fuels produced from waste processing gas and exhaust gas deriving from production process in industrial installations. They also suggested some biofuels, produced from animal fats or distillates, to be used in the aviation fuel mix for a limited time (until 2034). However, MEPs excluded feed and food crop-based fuels, and those derived from palm oil, because they do not align with the sustainability criteria.

The Transport Committee also included renewable electricity and hydrogen as part of a sustainable fuel mix, as both are promising technologies that could progressively contribute to the decarbonization of air transport. According to the draft rules, EU airports should facilitate the access of aircraft operators to sustainable aviation fuels, including with infrastructure for hydrogen refueling and electric recharging.