Low-carbon and renewable fuels: building the capacity of European industry to decarbonise the aviation and maritime sectors in a spirit of European autonomy

This own-initiative opinion focus on two industrial sectors, maritime and aviation, to assess the uptake of low-carbon sustainable fuels. This is of particular importance in the context of the European Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions. Over the last few years, the Commission has presented several initiatives on this subject, stemming from the Green Deal, the latest of which was on 6 February 2024 on industrial carbon management. The objective remains the gradual reduction of the carbon footprint (with a target of 55% reduction by 2030) in order to achieve climate neutrality for the European continent by 2050.

Focusing on the aviation and maritime industrial sectors, this opinion explores how to meet the decarbonisation objectives while remaining competitive, both at EU level and globally.  In this sense, one of the main solutions envisaged is to use an increasingly high proportion of sustainable (non-fossil origin), low-carbon fuels. Under this hypothesis, Europe needs to secure a sufficient production to meet the industrial demand. The opinion will look at the technology and industrial capacity needed for a successful transition in these sectors. Similarly, it will also explore the costs of producing these sustainable fuels, which is key for the business case of both airlines and shipowners. The opinion aims at drawing conclusions and recommendations on both the industrial and regulatory aspects.