Sweden should force airlines to blend in biofuels: government report

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Sweden should force airlines to blend in biofuels: government report
The requirement will apply to refuelling in Sweden. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

An investigator appointed by the Swedish government is to propose requiring airlines to use carbon neutral biofuels, but she only expects to reduce emissions by 1-5 percent by 2025.


Maria Wetterstrand, the former Green Party leader tasked with investigating measures to promote biofuels in flights, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper that her report, to be submitted on Monday, will suggest that the planned biofuels mandate only tighten from 2025, with emissions cuts reaching 30 percent by 2030. 
"Some are going to feel that our demand is too weak, but it's because of the limited availability of biofuels and the amount of time we feel it will take to boost the volumes," she told Dagens Nyheter. "We don't want to set demands we cannot live up to." 
The proposes that the new law come into force in 2021 with a demand for just one percent biofuel, which she expected to increase the cost of a flight in Europe by just 18 kronor. 
In Sweden, new government proposals often begin with the appointment of an investigator who consults with stakeholders and proposes measures. 
It is then up to the government to decide whether to incorporate the recommendations into a government bill which can go before parliament. 
By 2030, Wetterstrand expects the price of a long-haul journey to increase by about 250 Swedish kronor under her proposals, as a result of the increased cost of biofuels. 
The former green leader, who was one of Sweden's most popular politicians until she stood down as joint leader in 2011, was appointed to lead the investigation in January last year and is due to submit her final report today.
It was important, she said, to work with the industry so that airlines did not simply choose to refuel their planes in other countries. 
"If planes choose to tank up on a load of extra fuel to avoid refuelling in Sweden that would increase emissions because the planes would be heavier, so that would be extremely negative from a climate standpoint," she said. 
Swedes' average emissions from taking flights are five times higher than the global average.


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