Governments need to support production of sustainable aviation fuels

Director General/CEO of IATA Alexandre de Juniac

By Gboyega Oni

Governments around the world have been called upon to implement policies that can accelerate the deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) towards combating aviation emission globally.

The call was part of the Resolution of the 73rd Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) just concluded at Cancun, Mexico.

IATA also reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to work with governments to implement the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) global CO2 emissions agreement.

Speaking at the meeting, Director General/CEO of IATA, Alexandre de Junaic said the agreement was part of association’s strategy on combating aviation emission.

According to him, “the CORSIA agreement is a vital part of our strategy on combating aviation emissions. We are committed to carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to cutting net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. While offsetting is critical to managing emissions in the short-term, in the long-term we rely on clean technology improvements to achieve our goals. Sustainable aviation fuels are an integral part of our comprehensive strategy but at the moment they are not being produced in enough quantity at a competitive cost.”

The Resolution calls upon governments to implement policies to accelerate the deployment of SAF, including the creation of the appropriate regulatory framework to expedite the development of production facilities.

Such policies could include: Easier access to finance, including loan guarantees and capital grants, Supporting demonstration plants and supply chain research and development

Putting SAF on an equal footing with automotive biofuels through equivalent public incentives and Legislative certainty over an extended period of time to give investors confidence to finance new production facilities.

“Drop-in alternative fuels are technically ready to go and can deliver up to 80% reduction in carbon emissions. Governments have a role in providing incentives to make SAF commercially viable, just as they do with supporting the solar power for homes or electrically-powered cars.  Investing in SAF capacity will help to reduce emissions and create new opportunities for economic growth,” said de Juniac.

The Resolution also made clear the industry’s commitment to ensuring SAF conform to robust sustainability standards. IATA plays a leading role in an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) working group which will define globally-harmonized sustainability requirements for SAF in the context of the CORSIA agreement.

“It is important that people are reassured that CORSIA-compliant sustainable aviation fuels will be held to the highest environmental standards. Our resolution makes clear our determination that we will only use SAF that conserve an ecological balance, and avoid the depletion of natural resources,” said de Juniac

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