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26 July 2021

KLM’s response to the European Commission’s Fitfor55 proposals (Green Deal)

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KLM supports the EU’s goal of becoming the first continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 wholeheartedly. We therefore welcome the Fitfor55 package as part of the European Green Deal. Our full support can be relied upon for measures in this package that will truly help the airline industry to become more sustainable.

The challenge we are facing is global, making unambiguous policy at a global level essential. A European Union that sets the tone with good European policies using strong instruments to improve sustainability is important for furthering this transition. It is vital that everyone participates and that a level playing field is maintained globally. We must become more sustainable, while ensuring that we can continue to compete with the rest of the world.

The European airline industry presented its own ambitious roadmap in February of this year, entitled Destination 2050 ( www.destination2050.eu). It was written by the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and SEO Amsterdam Economics and contains concrete steps and recommendations for achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 for all flights departing from European airports.

We are delighted that many of the proposals the European Commission presented today correspond well with the vision we presented in Destination 2050. We support measures for upscaling the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), which emit up to 85% less CO2 than regular kerosene. In addition, we advocate for indisputable sustainability criteria for such alternatives. A Single European Sky is also essential alongside this package of measures, because ensuring airlines can take the most direct routes in Europe could reduce CO2 emissions in Europe by up to 10%.

Such measures are effective in helping the airline industry to become more sustainable. Introducing general levies, such as a European kerosene tax, will not achieve this, because they do not directly lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions and moreover the revenues raised are not invested in boosting sustainability in the industry. Kerosene tax may well have the opposite effect, leading to aircraft flying longer routes to circumvent the tax and thereby increasing emissions.

We need to implement those measures that will actually efficiently and effectively reduce CO2 emissions. EU policy must support the airline industry’s efforts to become more sustainable. We will now take sufficient time to thoroughly analyse the European Commission’s extensive proposals.

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