Constructing a legal and policy framework for the promotion and uptake of biofuels in aviation

The BFSJ is an EU FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) funded project that aims at advancing technical and legal research in order to enable extensive use of biofuels in the aviation sector. Bio-jet fuel currently constitutes the most viable solution for drastically reducing GHG emissions from the aviation sector in the medium to long-terms, as it constitutes a drop-in replacement to fossil-based kerosene and does not require any major infrastructural modifications to current jet engines or fuel supply to airport systems.

The project was officially launched on 24 March 2015 in Brussels by a broad ranging international consortium that aims at designing and constructing a pre-commercial demonstration plant for the production of fully synthetic jet fuel from wood and other biomass by the end of the project's 5 year run. Within this framework, the Institute for European Studies has taken on the role of studying the legal and policy framework for bio-jet fuel as it currently stands so that it can, through the identification of best practices in the area, enable the construction of a coherent and effective framework for the promotion and uptake of biofuels in aviation.

In particular, the IES will carry out the following tasks:

  • Report on the various sustainability standards in relevant jurisdictions;
  • Establish a comparative policy and legal analysis of initiatives designed to promote biofuels, in particular in the field of aviation. Here, EU initiatives, such as the European Advanced Biofuels Flight Path Initiative, as well as initiatives at the EU Member State level will be compared to initiatives such as those of Mexico, the U.S., Brazil and China to identify the most innovative policy instruments;
  • Proceed with a more in-depth analysis of the most innovative regulatory measures for the promotion of the development and uptake of aviation biofuels in the EU, in particular as regards their sustainability. The analysis will, further, explore the most problematic barriers to the creation of a properly functioning internal market for sustainable aviation biofuels in Europe;
  • Carry-out an analysis of how external aspects of EU policies (EU trade policy and EU investment policy) on the one hand, and international agreements and international law, on the other hand, affect the ability of the EU to develop and promote biofuels for aviation in the EU.

The BFSJ project is conducted within the IES European Economic Governance and Environment and Sustainable Development clusters.

IES researchers involved: Harri Kalimo, Filip SedefovÓlöf Söebech and Byron Maniatis.