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July 20, 2022

UK sets SAF mandate and unveils advanced ‘jet zero’ plan fuels fund

The new strategy includes plans to have at least five commercial sustainable aviation fuels plants under construction by 2025.

The UK Department for Transport has launched the new ‘jet zero’ strategy with objectives to boost the country’s SAF sector and attain net-zero emissions in domestic aviation by 2040.  

This new strategy pledges net-zero emissions at all airports in England by the same year.

It builds on the government’s economy-wide goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and the Transport decarbonisation plan.

As part of the new strategy launched at Farnborough International Airshow, the government plans to have at least five commercial sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) plants under construction by 2025.

It also mandated the production of at least 10% of aviation fuel from sustainable sources by 2030.

Additionally, the government launched the $197.8m (£165m) Advanced Fuels Fund to support pioneering projects.

It is now moving ahead with the next phase of a $1.19m (£1m) competition to provide the first ever net-zero 100% SAF-driven transatlantic flight.

The Jet Zero strategy also includes a plan for the aviation industry’s carbon emissions to stay below pre-pandemic levels using system efficiencies and new technologies, among other measures.

UK transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is setting an example of the ambition needed to tackle climate change, and the Jet Zero strategy provides a clear path to building a greener aviation sector for generations to come.

“Rather than clipping the sector’s wings, our pathway recognises that decarbonisation offers huge economic benefits, creating the jobs and industries of the future and making sure UK businesses are at the forefront of this green revolution.”

The Jet Zero Strategy includes six priority areas that include increasing support for SAF by creating and growing demand for SAF, developing carbon markets and greenhouse gas removal solutions and improving the efficiency of the existing aviation system.

It also includes providing better information for consumers to make sustainable travel decisions, increasing understanding of non-CO₂ impacts of aviation and supporting the development of zero-emission aircraft.

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