15 May 2024, 12:31
Julian Wettengel

EU to miss 2030 green fuels target for aviation – report


The European Union is set to fail its target to have 1.2 percent of all aviation fuels available at EU airports comprised of synthetic fuels like e-kerosene by 2030, because global production lags behind, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). A report by the Centre of Competence for Climate, Environment and Noise Protection in Aviation (CENA) said that several projects for the production of synthetic fuels are still at the planning stage and have by no means reached the necessary "degree of rigour" that would suggest an imminent start of production. FAZ writes that Germany currently has even more ambitious e-fuel targets in aviation than what the EU quotas require: The government and industry had agreed a roadmap in 2021, with the target to produce at least 200,000 tonnes of sustainable kerosene for German air traffic annually by 2030. However, it is unclear whether this national target is still valid in view of the EU quotas, FAZ writes.

In addition to biofuels – for example from agricultural or forestry residues – synthetic jet fuel, known as e-kerosene, made from green hydrogen and CO2 obtained largely from direct air capture, could make the aviation industry fossil-free. However, production is still costly and volumes are relatively low. Fossil-free aviation would not make air travel climate neutral. Planes' CO2 output is only part of the problem, because their "non-CO2 effects" – such as condensation trails, particles and other greenhouse gases emitted at high altitudes – also contribute to a large extent to the climate crisis.

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