IATA expects governments to implement the necessary support policies to enable the decarbonisation of aviation, as agreed at the Third Conference on Alternative Aviation Fuels (CAAF/3)
Hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Dubai, CAAF/3 achieved critical agreement on:
A global framework to promote sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production in all geographies of the world. The goal is for aviation fuel in 2030 to have 5% less carbon emissions than the fossil fuel used by the industry today.
Recognizing that certain States have the capacity to advance at a faster pace, and that others do not.
Capacity building, a “Fininvest Centre” and voluntary technology transfer are among the measures proposed to ensure that all countries can participate in a global SAF market.
The need for a solution that can foster a global SAF market while allowing airlines to claim the environmental attributes of their SAF purchases against their decarbonization obligations, based on a robust global SAF accounting framework.
“Governments have understood the critical role of SAF in achieving net-zero emissions for aviation by 2050. The CAAF/3 results add an ambitious vision over the shorter time horizon, 2030. To that end, the CAAF/3 agreement outlines to the world in unequivocal terms the need for policies that allow for real progress. There is no time to lose. IATA now expects governments to urgently implement the strongest possible policies to unlock the full potential of a global SAF market with exponentially increasing production,” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.
Signal demand and policies to support SAF production
This is necessary because airlines’ demand for SAF, in line with their commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, far exceeds the current availability of SAF, which is limited to the 0.2% of airline jet fuel consumption in 2023. Airlines have sent important demand signals to the SAF production market:
All SAF produced in 2022 was purchased, at an additional cost to the industry of around $500 million, as the price of SAF is at a significant premium to the price of jet fuel.
There are increasing examples of airlines integrating vertically into the supply chain, with some committing equity and venture capital into SAF projects.
Airlines have signed SAF forward purchase agreements worth a total of around $45 billion, well above current SAF availability.
“We need governments to act on the CAAF/3 declaration with policies that expand SAF production in all its forms. Despite unmistakable signs of demand, the SAF production market is not developing fast enough. We need SAF everywhere in the world and, to that end, the right supporting policies – policies that can stimulate production, promote competition, foster innovation and attract financing – must be put in place today, Walsh said.
IATA urges governments to adopt policies to maximize SAF production globally by:
Allow producers to make the most of the availability of local raw materials
Enact positive, non-punitive policies
Balance existing and future potential political support across different energy sources and preferably strive to favor renewable energy and ensure fair SAF participation in the latter.
Recognize that the path to success in transforming aviation and achieving net zero carbon emissions is a collective responsibility.
“The goal is to maximize SAF production everywhere with positive, not punitive, policy measures. Airlines are ready with open arms to take advantage of the resulting SAF production. While airlines are on the cusp of decarbonization, they cannot bear the burden alone. CAAF/3 has once again made clear that decarbonizing aviation will require unconditional and united efforts from across the value chain and governments, as we all focus on net zero by 2050. To be perfectly clear, a Where government money leads, private money will follow. It is absolutely essential that governments play their role, and we will certainly play ours,” said Marie Owens Thomsen, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Chief Economist at IATA.