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GBTA Europe Advocacy Newsletter – July 2022

Action in the EU

GBTA submitted response to the European Commission’s public consultation on international freight and passenger transport – increasing the share of rail traffic, focusing on the importance of rail as an alternative to air transport and reducing emissions from business travel. GBTA co-signed a joint rail travel letter along with CER, EUTT, and others on Reaching EU Climate goals by making rail the first choice for European travel in 2030. GBTA enhanced its relationship with CER, the voice of European Railway with future meetings planned. GBTA has participated in the European Tourism Manifesto working group, which took place in Brussels on the 29th of June along with other associations from across the travel sector such as A4E; EU Travel Tech and ECTAA. GBTA met with MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen to discuss sustainability and business travel. For more information on the GBTA actions in the EU during June, please contact [email protected].

 

KEY POINTS:

 

1. Covid-19 recovery

EU Covid certificate updates

It has been agreed that the validity of the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be extended for another 12 months. A review clause has been added aiming to review if this is still necessary after the first six months of implementation.

The European COVID-19 Scenario Hub

The EU launched a new online modelling hub, the European COVID-19 Scenario Hub, which will present modelling projections on how the COVID-19 pandemic may evolve in terms of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths. It will facilitate pandemic planning in the future. View more information here.

 

2. Transport & sustainability – Developments on the legislations relevant to achieving the EU’s climate targets

Alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR)

On the 2nd of June, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted its position on the AFIR regulation. View more details on the Council position here, the main points of which are the following:

  • The main objective is to ensure that the public has access to a sufficient infrastructure network for recharging or refuelling road vehicles or ships with alternative fuels.
  • The proposal also aims to provide alternative solutions so that ships moored at the quayside and stationary aircraft do not need to keep their engines running.

RefuelEU Aviation

Also, on the 2nd of June, the Council adopted its position[1] on the RefuelEU Aviation proposal to increase demand for and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), including synthetic aviation fuels, while ensuring a level playing field across the EU air transport market. View more details on the Council position here, the main aspect of which is below:

  • The position includes the obligation for aviation fuel suppliers to ensure that all fuel made available to aircraft operators at EU airports contains a minimum share of SAF from 2025 and, from 2030, a minimum share of synthetic fuels, with both shares increasing progressively until 2050 (blending mandate and sub-mandate).

 

Extending the EU Emission Trading System to road and buildings

The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a carbon market based on a system of cap-and-trade of emission allowances for energy-intensive industries and the power generation sector. On the latest updates, on the 22nd of June, the EP agreed on a more ambitious ETS. The new ETS will now be applicable for commercial buildings and road transport from 2024 – citizens not to be included before 2029. View more details on the EP position here.

On the 28th of June, the Council agreed to create a new, separate ETS for the buildings and road transport sectors. The new system will apply to distributors that supply fuels for consumption in the buildings and road transport sectors. View more information on the Council position here.

EU Emissions Trading System as regards aviation

The Council agreed to phase out free emission allowances for the aviation sector gradually by 2027. The EU ETS will apply for intra-European flights (including the United Kingdom and Switzerland), while CORSIA will apply to EU operators for extra-European flights to and from third countries participating in CORSIA. The Council agreed to set aside 20 million of the phased-out free allowances to compensate for the additional costs associated with the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). View more information here.

Renewable Energy Directive (RED) – Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The Council adopted, on the 27th of June, its negotiating positions on the RED & EED. View the relevant press release for more information on the Council positions, which include the following:

  • On the renewable energy directive, the Council agreed to set a binding EU-level target of 40% of energy from renewable sources in the overall energy mix by 2030.
  • On the energy efficiency directive, the Council agreed to reducing energy consumption at EU level by 36 % for final energy consumption and 39 % for primary energy consumption by 2030. The key target of 36% reduction at EU level for final energy consumption would be binding.

 

3. Other updates

CO2 Calculations – IATA CO2 Connect
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched IATA CO2 Connect, a new online tool to calculate CO2 emission for any given commercial passenger flight. View more information here.

Alliance to make hydrogen-powered and electric aircraft a reality
This newly launched by the Commission alliance will gather representatives of aircraft manufacturers, airlines, airports, energy companies and fuel providers, standardisation and certification agencies, passenger and environmental interest groups and regulators to ensure that air transport contributes to Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality objective. This can be an interesting opportunity for GBTA members to join. View more information on the alliance and on how to join here.