A senior official with the international trade association of airlines has argued that government action and the implementation of a worldwide framework enabling carriers to purchase the fuel from any location in the world can hasten the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
“Yes, SAF’s usage can be accelerated but for that governments need to act. It’s an energy transition. If they want more companies to invest in SAF, they need to provide them with some form of incentive. That’s why I have favoured the scheme implemented by the US, where producers have been asked to align SAF deliveries to a system of tax credits,” says senior vice president for environment & sustainability at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Sebastian Mikosz.
According to Mikosz, these incentives would also contribute to the fuel's cost-competitiveness, much like the subsidies offered by international governments for increased usage of solar panels and electric cars.
Airlines are dedicated to reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and SAF is seen as a crucial component of that goal. According to IATA, which represents about 300 airlines and 83% of all international air travel, SAF accounts for 66% of the decarbonization target on its own, necessitating a 450 billion litre production capacity by that time.
In a presentation to the International Civil Aviation Organization, IATA even made this suggestion (ICAO). If the ICAO issued a global recommendation, Mikosz thought that states would readily accept it as a benchmark for implementation. At the ICAO's 41st session in October 2022, governments already approved a Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) that calls for decarbonizing the aviation sector.
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