Updated: 12/10/2023

RefuelEU aviation initiative: Council adopts new regulation to decarbonise the aviation sector

The ReFuelEU Aviation initiative was adopted by the EU Council on 9 October 2023.

The ReFuelEU Aviation initiative is part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package. Presented by the European Commission on 14 July 2021, the package aims to enable the EU to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050.

The main objective of the RefuelEU aviation initiative is to increase both demand for and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), which have lower CO2 emissions than fossil fuel kerosene, while ensuring a level playing field across the EU air transport market.

The new legislation aims to put air transport on the trajectory of the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and 2050, as SAF are one of the key short- and medium-term tools for decarbonising aviation. It should address the current situation which is hindering their development: low supply and prices much higher than prices of fossil fuels.

The obligation for aviation fuel suppliers to ensure that all fuel made available to aircraft operators at EU airports contains a minimum share of SAF from 2025 and, from 2030, a minimum share of synthetic fuels, with both shares increasing progressively until 2050. Fuel suppliers will have to incorporate 2% SAF in 2025, 6% in 2030 and 70% in 2050. From 2030, 1,2% of fuels must also be synthetic fuels, rising to 35% in 2050.

The obligation for aircraft operators to ensure that the yearly quantity of aviation fuel uplifted at a given EU airport is at least 90% of the yearly aviation fuel required, to avoid tankering practices which would bring additional emissions from extra weight.

Following formal adoption by the Council, the new regulation will be published in the EU’s official journal in the coming weeks and will enter into force the twentieth day after this publication. It shall apply from 1 January 2024. 

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Updated: 12/10/2023 / Hit: 3,681