Policy update

Provisions for transport fuels in the European Union’s finalized “Fit for 55” package

In July 2021, the European Commission released the “Fit for 55” package, aimed at achieving the European Union’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% in 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This policy update provides an overview of the final revision of the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), ReFuelEU Aviation regulation, and FuelEU Maritime regulation, as agreed upon after the trilogue discussion between the European Commission, European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union.

The RED III changes the renewable energy target for transport from a 14% energy target to a 29% energy target or a 14.5% GHG intensity reduction target, while also expanding the transport energy that is covered to include aviation and maritime. In addition, it introduces a 5.5% target for advanced biofuels and renewable fuels of nonbiological origin. The Directive retains the caps on food- and feed-based biofuels and the phase out of “high-ILUC” feedstocks.

The ReFuelEU aviation regulation provides EU-wide blending targets for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), ranging from 2% in 2025 to 70% in 2050. The shares of SAF are calculated on a volume basis. The regulation also provides sub-targets for synthetic aviation fuels, which range from an average share of 1.2% in 2030 and 2031 to 25% in 2050. The Fuel EU Maritime regulation introduces GHG intensity reduction requirements for the energy used on board by ships. These reduction requirements range from 2% in 2025 to 80% in 2050.

This paper was revised on 17 August 2023 to mention that some fossil pathways count toward the FuelEU Maritime targets. The original can be found here.