The UK’s new transport secretary has been urged to offer incentives for the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), as well as creating a “price stability mechanism” for this type of jet fuel.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, which represents UK-based carriers, told the ABTA Travel Convention in Marrakech that the country had a “real opportunity to be a world leader in new transformative technology of the future”, including SAF, to help reach the industry’s goal of becoming net-zero for carbon emissions by 2050.
He also urged Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the newly appointed transport secretary, to consider implementing a pricing mechanism for SAF to create confidence among investors and producers, as currently there is no market price for sustainable fuel, which made it volatile.
Alderslade said the agreement reached by countries on aviation emissions at the ICAO meeting last week was “so important” because it aligned governments across the world with the aviation industry’s own global net-zero target of 2050.
He added that if the aviation industry “doesn’t get this right” on decarbonisation, then there could be “questions about demand, taxation and capacity”.
Alderslade said the UK aviation industry could not reach net-zero by 2050 without SAF, particularly for long-haul flights.
Susan Deer, ABTA's director of industry relations, said the travel industry was both “talking and taking action” to improve sustainability and it was “not just about transport”, with everybody in the sector needing to play their part.
“It’s about looking beyond the environmental and looking at the social,” added Deer. “It’s not just about decarbonising, it’s about how we can benefit local communities.
“There are small steps that every business can take in collaboration and co-operation. We can move quicker if we move together.”