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CEFA meeting – 24 January

On 24 January 2020, the first Council for Environmentally Friendly Aviation associations meeting of 2020 was held, organised and chaired by ERA.

Present at the meeting were ERA, A4E, EBAA, ACI, EUROCONTROL, the European Commission and AIRE.

Firstly, the different initiatives of the associations were addressed. The European Sustainable Aviation Roadmap was presented to the associations not involved. ERA then presented its own sustainability study to be launched at the ERA Regional Airline Conference in Malta this March; EBAA presented the SAF coalition of five associations in Europe and North America. They provide a book and claim system that allows passengers to buy SAF. EBAA is also working on a sustainability roadmap. EEA is closely following the discussions within IATA, and the possibilities for fleet renewal and SAF. AIRE addressed the issues with CORSIA and its troublesome implementation, particularly when it comes to MRV – if more countries follow the EU example CORSIA will be undermined.

Offsetting was also addressed during the discussions – passengers do not grasp the concept quickly so it needs to be explained clearly what it entails in order to improve its reputation. As for SAF, we all need to accept the fact that there will be a cost for us - the question is what is a reasonable cost? In addition, noise was discussed - DG ENVI will do more on noise, in fact they are launching a study for future noise policy in the EU. Local air quality will also become an issue. The Green Deal calls for stronger monitoring.

At the lunch, representatives of DG MOVE and DG CLIMA joined the discussions. They updated the group on the current developments within the European Commission:

  • The Green Deal is a growth strategy which goes hand in hand with sustainability.
  • At the beginning of March, the first Climate Law is expected, making the 2050 target legally binding and creating coherent policies on climate.
  • The ETS revision will be particularly relevant for aviation with the reduction of free allowances expected.
  • Also the Energy Taxation Directive will be relevant, although it will require for unanimity for any inclusion of aviation fuel tax to be include.
  • The focus will be on boosting SAF, the EC is looking into a EU wide blending mandate.
  • Local air quality near airports will also be of interest.