European Union’s Intensified SAF Regulation: Excludes Palm Oil and Soyoil

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European Union's Intensified SAF Regulation: Excludes Palm Oil and Soyoil. Photo by: Special

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – On September 13, 2023, the European Parliament endorsed a new regulation aimed at bolstering the criteria for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) within the European Union, while also specifying limitations on certain fuel sources like palm oil and soyoil. 

This decision follows the adoption of a draft regulation known as the ReFuelEU initiative by European Parliament members in July 2022. The initiative is part of the broader Fit for 55 package, which outlines the European Union’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, with a target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. 

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In April 2023, the European Parliament announced that a political consensus had been reached on the ReFuelEU proposal, leading to its official adoption.

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Aviation regulation – the new ReFuelEU would oblige airports and aviation fuel in European Union to confirm that, at least, 2 percent of aviation fuel should be ‘environmental’ in 2025. The criteria would escalate to be 6 percent in 2030, 20% in 2035, 34% in 2040, 42 percent in 2024, and 70 percent in 2050.

The regulation would oblige that some of aviation materials should consist of synthesis materials, such as, kerosene. Synthetic material needs should be 1,2 percent in 2030, 2 percent in 2032, 5 percent in 2035 and in phase to be 35 percent in 2050.

As quoted from Ethanol Producer, ReFuelEU defined that SAF would cover synthesis materials, certain biofuel produced by agriculture and forestry residue, algae, natural waste, used palm cooking oil or certain animal fats. Jet aviation fuel should be from gas waste and plastic waste which are considered to be ‘environmental’.

Besides, renewable hydrogen is the fuel that should qualify the criteria in the program. The regulation prevents SAF that was produced from woof and material in food plant – base, including from palm oil and soyoil. The two should not be parts of the program. European Parliament claimed biofuel in plant – base is not classified as ‘the green’ based on ReFuelEU initiative for having no ‘sustainability criteria’.

Besides deciding SAF mandate, ReFuelEU initiative also made the new aviation label program. Start from 2024, there would be EU label for aviation criteria. Every plane can trade their aviation with the label that shows carbon trace estimation per passenger and CO2 efficiency estimation per kilometer. The label program would help the passengers compare aviation environmental performance that different aviation companies have operated in the same route.

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