Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen imposes use of cleaner fuel in aviation sector

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) wants the Netherlands to play a pioneering role in Europe with respect to reducing aviation CO2 emissions. Three years from now, aircraft in Europe will need to fly partially on sustainable fuel. The Minister is taking the lead in introducing European-wide quotas for the compulsory blending of sustainable aviation fuels into fossil fuels. In the near future such quotas may reduce aviation emission rates, whilst boosting the development and production of alternative aviation fuels.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen is encouraging other European countries to join the Netherlands in order to effectuate the transition from fossil kerosene to sustainable aviation fuel. She intends to form a group of front runners, from a number of member states, to foster the development of sustainable aviation fuels. According to a study commissioned by the Minister, blending sustainable fuel into kerosene is quite an efficient method for enhancing the sustainability of the aviation sector.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen: ‘Sustainable aviation fuel will enable us to make great strides towards cleaner aviation. We need this in order to reduce emission rates in the very near future. Compulsory blending will boost the production of green fuels, such as bio kerosene and synthetic kerosene.’

Our country is home to several initiatives aimed at the production of sustainable aviation fuels. For example, Europe’s first sustainable bio kerosene plant is being built in the Dutch city of Delfzijl, whilst Schiphol Airport and other private parties are working on a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic kerosene. Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen is supporting this initiative and exploring opportunities for providing financial support to their further development.

The Minister aims to have the European blending quotas go into force within three years. The Netherlands has invited representatives of the European member states to gather in Brussels early this month, in order to share developments in the field of sustainable aviation fuel. Should a European quota not prove feasible in good time, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen will commit to the introduction of a national quota with effect from 2023 in order to encourage the use and production of such fuels. This means that from that day on, aircraft refuelling at Dutch airports will only be able to take in kerosene blended with sustainable aviation fuel.

With this European quota, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen is addressing the climate goals for the aviation sector. By 2050, CO2 emissions from international air traffic must be halved vis-à-vis 2005. In the Dutch Draft Agreement on Sustainable Aviation, the Minister has set down that by 2030, 14 per cent of aviation fuel in the Netherlands must be sustainable, whilst by 2050, the fossil kerosene requirements of the aviation sector must be fully replaced by sustainable alternatives.