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‘A watershed moment’: EU agrees to decarbonize air transport

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The European Union (EU) has reached an interim agreement aimed at decarbonising air transport and “creating a level playing field” for sustainable aviation fuels (CDA).

The ReFuelEU Aviation initiative aims to put the European air transport sector on a path to achieving the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and 2050. Adina Ioana ValianThe European Commissioner for Transport described the agreement as “a turning point for European aviation”.

Before becoming law, the agreement must be approved by the various EU member states, but this step is considered a formality. Once approved, airlines will have to comply with this new regulation and use fuel that blends ADCs with kerosene in progressively larger quantities, starting with 2% of total fuel in 2025, then 6% in 2030 and 70% in 2050.

These quotas should help stimulate supply and demand for ADCs, which will lead to lower costs. So far, the development of ADCs has been hampered by low supply and prices that are still well above fossil fuel prices.

The ReFuelEU Aviation initiative is presented as a win-win solution for both the environment and the economy. “Switching to ADCs will improve our energy security, while reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports,” said Adina-Ioana Vălean. Measures like these help make Europe a world leader in the production of innovative clean fuels. We estimate that the ADC market will create over 200,000 additional jobs in the EU, particularly in the renewable energy sector. »

Since 2021, the European Union and the United States have agreed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, their approaches have been different.

In early September 2021, the Biden administration announced a new ADC goal to increase production to at least three billion gallons per year by 2030. This plan includes a tax rebate for ADCs and launching a new Grand Challenge for CDA to accelerate domestic production using a comprehensively designed roadmap of It was accepted by an interagency panel including the US Department of Energy, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as stakeholders from laboratories, universities, US NGOs, and the aerospace, agriculture, and energy sectors.

On Wednesday 26 April, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline lobby, expressed reservations about the mandate-based approach outlined in the European plan. The mandates “send a signal to producers and the market” and “risk dramatically increasing costs and allowing fuel suppliers to print money, while increasing the price of transportation around the world.” Conrad CliffordDeputy Director General of the International Air Transport Association.

“The US Inflation Act shows the power of strong incentives to stimulate production,” said Conrad Clifford. “If the EU does not deploy comparable firepower, it risks having to import ADCs to achieve its own goals, which will increase costs and reduce environmental gains.”

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Susan Rowan Kelleher

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