November 18, 2012
The Commission recently published a proposal, amending the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive, with the aim to start the transition to biofuels that deliver substantial greenhouse gas savings when also estimated indirect land-use change emissions are reported. The Parliament and the Council will have now to adopt the proposal while a debate has kicked off among stakeholders.
From the aviation perspective, sustainable biofuels will play a vital role in reducing the carbon footprint of aviation and meeting the industry’s global target of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50% reduction in net CO2 by 2050. Sustainable aviation biofuels do not compete with food sources, require minimal land, water and energy to produce, and provide economic value to the communities where they are grown. Since first-generation biofuels may compete with food stocks, Boeing has focused on sustainably grown, advanced-generation biofuels from a portfolio of different feedstock alternatives. We are continuing extensive research and lifecycle analysis to verify sustainability of feedstocks and processing methods. Meanwhile, sound and timely policy measures are key to advance aviation biofuels development and commercialization. Aviation will remain dependent on liquid hydrocarbon fuels for the long-term and therefore the development of sustainable biofuels should be a priority of government policy.