UK & EU publish policy proposals to accelerate SAF take up

15 Jul 2021

New measures to drive down aviation’s emissions announced

Both the UK and European Union have published new policy proposals intended to drive down emissions in their respective territories, with a significant focus on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) as a means of decarbonising the aviation sector.

In the UK, the Government presented their Transport Decarbonisation Plan. Launching the strategy, Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, stated that it was time to “build on British leadership in sustainable aviation fuels to deliver truly guilt free flying.”  The Government has committed to putting together a comprehensive policy framework that could enable greater SAF uptake, with planned consultations on areas including the introduction of a SAF mandate and a target to reach net zero by 2040. This will sit alongside improving the UK ETS to accelerate aviation decarbonisation and aiming to agree an ambitious long-term global emissions reduction goal at ICAO by 2022. The plan was accompanied by the publication of a wider consultation document on Jet Zero.

The plan itself cited Immingham, the site of Velocys’ and British Airways’ planned Altalto project, noting: “with SAF plants planned in Immingham … it is clear there is an opportunity to develop these areas further and help them transition to more sustainable fuels production.”

The European Union published Delivering the European Green Deal, which seeks to reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, and make Europe the world’s “first carbon neutral continent” by 2050.

EU proposals relating to the uptake of SAF include putting an obligation on fuel suppliers to distribute increasing levels of SAF at all EU airports, an obligation to uplift SAF blended fuels before each flight from an EU airport and a focus on the most innovative and sustainable fuels. Ultimately, the EU propose that from 2025 there should be a minimum volume share of 2% of SAF in EU flights, increasing to 5% by 2030 and ultimately 63% by 2050.

Velocys welcomes both initiatives, and believes that the technology solution we provide to our global client base will play an important role as the aviation sector moves to decarbonise in the years ahead. We eagerly await more details of the policies in the UK that will support the strong ambitions mentioned in the Jet Zero Consultation and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan can be found here.

Delivering the European Green Deal can be found here.