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International Civil Aviation Organization commit to 5% fuel emission cut by 2030

At its third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has reached a compromise agreement to a framework to reduce emissions from aviation fuel by 5% by 2030. The global aviation sector aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Over 100 countries and 1,000 delegates met in Dubai last week to firm up their collective commitments to boost global aviation’s transition towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF), and other cleaner energy sources.

A key element of the new framework is a collective ‘Vision’ for the clean energy transition, harmonised regulatory foundations, supporting implementation initiatives, and improved access to financing for related initiatives so that ‘No Country is Left Behind.’

The agreement outlines the support available to countries at the beginning of their Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) journey and enables them to take part in the transition. As such, each State’s special circumstances and respective capabilities will inform their ability to contribute to it within their own national timeframes, without attributing specific obligations or commitments in the form of emissions reduction goals.

ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano explained: ‘The role of the Framework is to facilitate the scale-up of the development and deployment of SAF, LCAF and other aviation cleaner energies on a global basis, and mainly by providing greater clarity, consistency and predictability to all stakeholders, including those beyond the aviation sector.

‘Investors, governments and others all need greater certainty regarding the policies, regulations, implementation support, and investments required so that all countries will have an equal opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, the expansion in the production and use of these fuels and the expected emissions reductions they will lead to.’

The UK has a domestic SAF mandate requiring 10% SAF in the UK fuel mix by 2030, delivering a 7% reduction in carbon emissions. Last week, the government announced a further £53 million from the Advanced Fuels Fund to scale up the UK SAF industry and get five commercial SAF plants under construction by 2025. They also launched the UK Clearing House, a national hub to support the testing and approval of new advanced fuels for aviation.

UK Aviation Minister, Anthony Browne, recently said: ‘Sustainable aviation is a promise that the global sector wants to make a reality – that’s why today’s agreement is so important – not only giving a renewed commitment to delivering a net zero future, but outlining the next steps in the industry’s flightpath towards it.’

Today, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan has announced new plans for the safe, proportionate regulation of high-potential technologies including the use of hydrogen as an aviation fuel.

The aviation industry does not yet have a thorough understanding of the risks of hydrogen and as such, the UK Civil Aviation Authority will address these issues through its Hydrogen Challenge, which will use a Regulatory Sandbox approach to make sure regulation is fit for purpose and reduce challenges associated with the introduction of hydrogen fuel.

The regulator’s challenge will facilitate collaboration with industry and academia to improve understanding of hydrogen-related risks in aviation, identify gaps in policies, and propose new recommendations to develop net-zero policies.

Sophie O’Sullivan, Head of Future Safety & Innovation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: ‘The project will help facilitate efforts to move towards a net-zero aviation sector by supporting the industry to explore how feasible the introduction of hydrogen is and how we can make sure regulation is fit for purpose.

‘Enabling innovation while maintaining safety is a key part of our work and this challenge is a clear example of our collaborative approach to shaping the future of aviation.’

 

 

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