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Jet Zero Council announce two year action plan at the Sustainable Skies World Summit

The future of sustainable aviation is under discussion in Farnborough this week, as the Sustainable Skies World Summit brings the industry together to plot the path to net zero by 2050.

The Jet Zero Council  is a partnership between industry and government aiming to deliver at least 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the UK fuel mix by 2030 and zero emission transatlantic flight within a generation. 

white and red plane on the sky

The two year plan unveiled today sets out the council’s plan to accelerate the production of SAFs, by continuing to invest in first-of-a-kind SAF plants, supporting scientific research on a larger scale, and helping to drive down production costs.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: ‘This government is a determined partner to the aviation industry – helping accelerate new technology and fuels, modernise their operations, and work internationally to remove barriers to progress.

‘Together, we can set aviation up for success, continue harnessing its huge social and economic benefits, and ensure it remains a core part of the UK’s sustainable economic future.’

Sustainable Aviation also used the occasion to publish an updated Net Zero Carbon Road-Map.  Sustainable Aviation are a coalition of the UK’s leading airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers, air service navigation providers, and innovation companies in sustainable aviation fuel and carbon removals and the road map is an update to previous plans published in 2020 and 2021.

The report maintains that UK aviation can continue to grow whilst meeting its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, thanks to the advances in sustainable aviation technology already delivered in the UK.  By way of example, it cites the production of sustainable aviation fuel on the Humber, its use in the world’s first 100% sustainable aviation fuel flight, and the world’s first run of a modern engine on hydrogen.

However, it goes on to suggest that while the UK is a global leader in sustainable aviation technology, Government support is essential. It calls for an industry funded price support mechanism to help secure private investment in UK sustainable aviation fuel plants. Without urgent Government action, it says,  the UK risks losing an industry estimated to support 60,000 jobs and be worth around £10bn in GVA benefits by 2050.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, said: ‘This Road-Map highlights the critical role that Sustainable Aviation Fuel will need to play in decarbonising UK aviation. As well as helping to meet our collective net zero 2050 goal, a UK SAF industry supports our energy security and creates economic growth through an innovative new green industry. With the right level of Government support and partnership across industry we can make this vision a reality, securing a more sustainable future for the UK’s world leading aviation sector.’

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