Biofuels in aviation: A sustainable alternative?

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Current laws require EU countries to have “at least 10%” renewable energy used in transport by 2020 – including a 7% cap for biofuels. For 2030, the European Commission proposed reducing conventional biofuels in transport to 3.8% as part of a broader target to source at least 27% energy from renewables.

While some transport sectors can reach this target with different options, the aviation sector still relies on liquid fuels. Renewable biofuels can therefore have a huge potential in ensuring that aviation reduces its emissions while meeting the EU target.

But biofuels are still regarded as a controversial alternative. In order for biofuels to achieve market efficiency, specific policy and economic instruments must be introduced at both European and global level.

EURACTIV organised a high-level forum to explore the future of sustainable biofuels in aviation and discussed issues such as:

– How can the aviation sector contribute to the EU’s renewable objectives?
– How can Europe benefit from increased production of biofuels without threatening food production and the environment?
– What sustainability criteria for biofuel feedstocks can be defined without hindering innovation?
– Why would airlines and investors be interested in biofuels when the current economics strongly favour traditional fossil fuels?
– How can the EU foster innovation for the post-2020 scenario?
– How can Europe maintain competitiveness in an increasingly global context? Can Europe set global standards?

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