Support gaining to add aviation in green classification - EU official

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FILE PHOTO: A Lufthansa CO2-neutral Boeing 777 cargo aircraft, operated with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), is refueled at Frankfurt airport,

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's top transport official said on Wednesday she supported the inclusion of aviation in the EU's green taxonomy investment rules and expected sceptical policymakers could be convinced to include it.

The EU taxonomy is a complex system to classify which parts of the economy may be marketed as sustainable investments. It includes economic activities and detailed environmental criteria that each of them must meet to earn a green label.

Initially, there was some debate about including the aviation sector, which is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonise.

"The arguments (for including aviation) are strong. And I would say that there is the right support in recognition of this idea. I think the idea was finally explained and supported," EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean told Reuters in an interview in Brussels.

Aviation leasing, manufacturing, passenger and freight flights were included in a leaked draft updating the classification, earlier in March.

Valean said the Commission was exploring opportunities for making the sector greener despite there being no net zero aircraft available on the market yet.

"We are looking at requirements for new aircraft, which will be supported through the taxonomy if they are capable of taking 100% sustainable aviation fuels," she said.

(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Mark Potter)