Brussels: The European Union will put forward rules outlining how some aircraft can be considered climate-friendly under the region’s green rulebook, offering a roadmap toward a cleaner future for an industry that’s traditionally had a huge carbon footprint.
The Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, will propose adding aircraft manufacturing and leasing to the bloc’s green taxonomy if they meet strict criteria, including having zero emissions or not adding to the global fleet and meeting certain CO2 limits, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg News.
From 2030, passenger aircraft will have to use a minimum 10 per cent share of sustainable aviation fuels, increasing by 2 percentage points each year in order to qualify for the green label, according to the draft. The commission also added rules for other transport sectors like road and maritime.
The taxonomy is the EU’s bid to create a list of economic activities that contribute toward the bloc’s goal of climate neutrality by the middle of the century, with the hope of channeling private sector investment towards them. It also forms the bedrock of much of the bloc’s environmental regulation, including the green bond standard and recent efforts to re-shore vital clean technologies.
But the rulebook has also come alongside many controversies, including a decision last year to include gas and nuclear power, albeit with strict conditions. The decision to include the aviation sector - even the top performers - will likely draw the ire of green groups.
Proponents will say it will provide vital investment for rolling out technologies like sustainable aviation fuels for one of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors.
The rules won’t inhibit the production of dirtier aircraft or the increase of fleet sizes, though such activities would not be eligible for a green stamp.