The International air transport Association (IATA) has called for the International Energy Agency (IEA) to prioritize investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to assist power aviation’s contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery.
The world must ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 crisis with attention centered on investment in carbon-reduction technologies and in SAF, which will create jobs at this crucial time and boost aviation’s progress towards its goal to cut aviation emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.
Current SAF production rates are too low for aviation to achieve this goal, despite its proven potential and airline efforts to date:
SAF can cut co2 lifecycle emissions up to 80 % compared with standard jet fuel
SAF uses sustainable fuel sources which don’t compete with food or water or damage biodiversity
Due to extensive testing and investment from airlines, SAF are certified as safe, sustainable, and ready-to-use
Over 250,000 flights have already taken off with a mix of SAF.
“The enormous amount of money that governments are investing in the economic recovery from COVID-19 is a chance to create a legacy of the energy transition for the aviation industry. to attain this, governments, the finance community and the fuel producers – both large and small – must work along with the goal of quickly increasing production of affordable sustainable aviation fuel,” said Alexandre DE Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
IATA estimates that current SAF production is 50 million liters annually. to achieve a point where the scale of production will see SAF costs drop to levels competitive with jet fuel, production needs to reach seven billion liters or 2 % of 2019 consumption.
“As much as airlines want to use SAF, production is well below the scale required for prices to fall to competitive levels. Attaining the correct price point is even more crucial as industry losses and debt levels rise. however if governments can use this unique time to combine a safe fiscal and regulatory framework supporting SAF production with the direct allocation of stimulus funds to SAF production, it’s possible to achieve the two % tipping point in 2025. that would power greener flight, create jobs, and fuel the economic recovery together,” said DE Juniac.