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Debate on SAF in EU Parliament

On 4 February, ERA took part in the debate on Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Future Aviation in Europe. The debate took place in the European Parliament and gathered aviation professionals and stakeholders including airlines, airports, sustainable fuel consultants and EU policy makers.

The debate was hosted by MEP Cesar Luena, who outlined the four pillars by which aviation can decarbonise: new technology and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), operational improvements, infrastructure improvements and market-based measures. Here SAF plays a big role as it is expected to lower aviation emissions by 80 per cent via its lifecycle, therefore, a European strategy on SAF is a necessity.

Transport’s share of CO2 emissions in 1990 represented 17 per cent, whilst aviation accounted for 1.4 per cent. In 2017, they respectively represented 27 per cent and 3.8 per cent of total emissions. CO2 emissions have been, therefore, increasing. But it has been found that for every 1 per cent increase in traffic, CO2 increases by 2 per cent. Based on current information and trends, traffic is expected to grow by 1.8 per cent between now and 2050. By 2035, it is expected that electrification will be possible for small narrow-body and business jets. Until then, SAF seems to be the best solution. But it is not only a short-term solution: SAF will be crucial for long-haul flights in the long-term. However, SAF costs are still very high (three times more expensive than conventional jet fuel) and have low production rates (today’s SAF production represents 0.03 per cent of global production).

Presentations from the event can be downloaded from the top right-hand corner of this page.