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Europe’s airlines seek global vision for sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) as European rules take effect

By  Brussels, — Last updated on 11 December 2023

Brussels, 20 November 2023

Europe’s leading airlines are calling for a global response to accelerate the transition to greener fuels as the Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF) kicks off in Dubai. Airlines for Europe (A4E) looks forward to ICAO establishing a global vision of 4-5% CO2 emissions reduction from the use of SAF by 2030.

CAAF/3 kicks off just as the EU’s SAF regulation, known as ReFuelEU, comes into force. The global industry should follow in its footsteps to set achievable targets that promote the use of SAF. Europe’s airlines are confident that with the right supporting measures, the requirements of the EU’s regulation will be met, but global regulations will enhance the credibility of the aviation sector’s sustainability commitments and signal to investors that sustainable aviation is an industry ripe with opportunities.

A4E is also calling for the development of a global framework that will help to stimulate SAF demand and supply. The CAAF/3 should deliver a toolkit that can be implemented by states and which covers accounting methodologies for SAF, capacity building and improving access to finance for SAF.

Speaking ahead of the CAAF/3, Laurent Donceel, Deputy Managing Director of A4E said,

“Committing to a transition to clean energy is an investment in the future of air travel. The world expects action from the aviation industry to ensure it continues along the path towards sustainability. The future of aviation depends on sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and it is critical that the meeting this week produces a global agreement for net-zero aviation with realistic targets to promote the use of SAF. Global investments in SAF and boosting the energy transition in aviation will create a bounty of jobs and growth around the world.”

“Between 2025 and 2030 European airlines will use up to 9 million tonnes of SAF, saving around 30 million tonnes of CO2. This is like taking 1.1 million cars off the road each year. Europe and the USA are accelerating down the runway towards a more sustainable future so it’s critically important that the rest of the world keeps up and delivers a truly net zero aviation industry. This meeting of CAAF is an ideal opportunity to set this in stone,” Donceel added.




Notes to Editor

CAAF 3 is a meeting of ICAO member states that will review the 2050 ICAO Vision for SAF, in order to define an ICAO global framework in line with the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative and take into account national circumstances and capabilities. CAAF/3 will bring together high-level officials from States who will have the authority to make policy-related decisions, as well as international organizations with direct involvement in aviation cleaner energy, that are invited to participate as Observers.

ReFuel EU is the EU’s legislation setting a mandate for the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for all flights within Europe. It commits airlines operating within the EU to use 2% SAF of overall fuel supplied by 2025 and reach 70% by 2050. The new EU jet fuel blend will need to also contain a minimum share of the most modern and environmentally friendly synthetic fuels, which increases over time


About A4E

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association. Based in Brussels, A4E works with policymakers to ensure aviation policy continues to connect Europeans with the world in a safe, competitive and sustainable manner. As a key initiator of aviation’s Destination 2050 roadmap, A4E and its members committed to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for their own operations by 2050. With a modern fleet of over 3,300 aircraft, A4E airlines carried over 610 million passengers in 2022 and served nearly 2,000 destinations. Each year, A4E members transport more than 4 million tonnes of vital goods and equipment to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft.