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Aviation Biofuels: Won’t Get Fooled Again
by Carlos Calvo Ambel (Transport & Environment/EurActiv) ... Sustainable feedstocks available for the production of non-land using biofuels, made of waste and residues, are limited and other sectors want to use them as well. Some advanced biofuels, such as those derived from waste, might play a role but on a modest scale. And in any case, biofuels do not eliminate the considerable climate change effects of aviation induced cloud formation.
Municipal organic waste, waste wood or some forest and agricultural industry residues are positive examples under development, but there will be limits to the quantities available. Research and development must look into disruptive, sustainable, scalable fuel technologies.
Reducing the climate impact of aviation is challenging and requires effort on many fronts. There is no reason to keep kerosene tax-free or to exempt flights from VAT. There also need to be effective fuel efficiency standards, which currently do not exist. All these policies are more credible and, importantly for fighting climate change, may have a more immediate impact on reducing aviation’s climate impact.
ICAO is currently drawing up rules around the use of biofuels. These will need to be robust to avoid deforestation-driven biofuels becoming the winners of this ‘green’ bet. If alternative fuels are going to be promoted for environmental gains, the very minimum is to ensure that they are actually better than what they are supposed to replace. Otherwise, why to do it in the first place? READ MORE