Iata demands ‘strong and urgent’ support to raise SAF production

Iata has reiterated aviation sector calls for state support to raise production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in order to meet 20250 net zero emissions targets.

The aviation trade association has published a comparison of 14 net zero CO2 transition roadmaps for aviation covering options such as SAF, new aircraft technologies, zero-carbon fuels and operational improvements. 

The report suggests that SAF will be responsible for the greatest amount of CO2 reductions by 2050. However, the role of SAF varies from 24%-70%.

“This wide range reflects the uncertainties regarding potential supportive government action, the level of investments, cost of production, and profit potential, as well as access to feedstocks,” Iata said.

“Technology and operational efficiency improvements are expected to have a similar role in the net zero transition across the roadmaps, together contributing to about 30% of the emissions reduction in 2050 in all scenarios.”

Iata sustainability senior vice president and chief economist Marie Owens Thomsen said: “The Aviation Net Zero CO2 Transition Pathways Comparative Review demonstrates that there are multiple levers that can be used in different combinations to achieve the objective of decarbonising aviation by 2050.

“All these levers will be needed in aviation’s transition. While the impact of each varies across the roadmaps, all roadmaps expect the greatest decarbonisation in 2050 to stem from SAF. 

“This report provides airlines, policymakers and all stakeholders with a useful tool to analyse and improve their policy, investment, and business choices.

“It is particularly important for SAF where strong and urgent public policy support is needed to increase production. Without that, no version of the roadmaps will get us to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The call echos Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy’s demand for urgent government action to encourage UK production of SAF with a warning that limited supplies will put the industry and holidaymakers “at a disadvantage”.

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