NBAA-BACE: IBAC commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

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The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its 15 member associations from across the globe have committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This is an ambitious goal, but I am optimistic we can get there by working together,” said IBAC Director General Kurt Edwards.

“We as an industry have been successful leaders in new technology to drive fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Now we go to the next level by engaging key stakeholders with a common goal to decarbonise our industry.”

Four key areas had already been identified in the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change in 2009 as key to reaching the industry’s lower carbon goals. These four areas included: modern technology; sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); operational improvements and modernised infrastructure; and market-based measures (MBMs).

A substantial shift will be needed in all four areas to meet the 2050 goal, as well as an acknowledgement that offsets will most likely be necessary.

“With this further commitment, we have set ourselves an even greater challenge. We do have the keys to unlock a pathway forward with all the necessary tools at our disposal, and together with stakeholder collaboration and support we can achieve this important aspirational goal.”

Shell unveils ambition to produce two million tonnes of SAF a year by 2025

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Aviation fuel giant Shell plans to produce around 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuels sales as SAF by 2030.

“Currently, SAF accounts for less than 0.1% of the world’s use of aviation fuel. We want to help our customers use more SAF,” said Anna Mascolo, President of Shell Aviation. “With the right policies, investments and collaboration across the sector we can accelerate aviation’s progress towards net zero by 2050.”

Last week saw Shell take a final investment decision for a new biofuels plant at its Rotterdam Energy and Chemicals Park. The facility will have the ability to produce 820,000 tonnes of low-carbon fuels per year, including SAF. Shell also offers certified nature-based carbon credits to offset emissions, and is exploring other ways to help aviation achieve its net-zero goals, including hydrogen power.

The company has also now published two reports looking at how the aviation sector can accelerate its progress towards decarbonisation.

Decarbonising Aviation: Cleared for Take-Off is a joint report between Shell and Deloitte based on the view of more than 100 aviation industry executives and experts. It outlines 15 ways to reduce emissions between now and 2030 that will help aviation to reach net-zero by 2050.

Shell’s companion report – Decarbonising Aviation: Shell’s Flight Path – outlines how Shell, as one of the world’s largest suppliers of aviation fuel and lubricants, can help its customer decarbonise. It highlights Shell’s ambition to produce 2 million tonnes of SAF a year by 2025. Achieving this goal will make Shell a leading global producer of SAF and support the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

Advocating for a comprehensive regulatory regime to accelerate the decarbonisation of aviation, Shell has been calling for an supply supports the introduction of ambitious and feasible SAF blending mandates.

Europe’s aviation sector puts forward pact for decarbonisation targets

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The European Commission has outlined proposals aimed at reducing net EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030 in its ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package published on Wednesday 14 July.

The proposals represent a major stepping stone to reach the EU’s climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and is in line with the aviation sector’s objectives of achieving net-zero CO2 emissions from all flights within and departing Europe by 2050.

In support of the ‘Fit for 55’ initiative, Europe’s airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and manufacturers have put forward the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation – a joint roadmap for industry and policymakers to align their actions towards realising the 2030 and 2050 climate goals. Led by the European Commission, the pact would set out a shared vision, common aspirational targets and high-level principles for joint aviation and policymaker action.

Earlier this year Europe’s aviation stakeholders launched the Destination 2050 initiative – a combination of measures across four pillars that can be used to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 205o. These include: improvements in aircraft and engine technologies; ramping up production and uptake of sustainable aviation fuels; implementation of smart economic measures; and improvements in air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations.

In a statement, the five associations (ACI Europe, ASD Europe, Airlines for Europe, ERA and CANSO) behind Destination 2050 said: “European aviation supports the Commission’s climate ambitions and Destination 2050 is our sector’s contribution to their implementation – but the roadmap clearly shows that we cannot do this alone. Realising our ambition and achieving a net-zero European aviation requires fully aligned and enabling policy, regulatory and financial frameworks – both at EU and national level. For this reason, we call on the European commission to support and take the lead in the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation to drive these proposals forward. We stand ready to engage with the European Commission to define such a Pact and hold regular exchanges to ensure its implementation.”

Bristol Airport on track to become first net zero UK airport

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Bristol Airport in the UK is on track to being a carbon neutral airport four years ahead of schedule. Originally the airport had planned to become carbon neutral by 2025 but now intends on achieving that goal before the end of 2021. In addition, it is pushing ahead with plans to become the first net zero airport in the UK by 2030, 20 years ahead of the government’s target date.

The gateway to the UK’s southwest has made three key commitments: to be a net zero airfield, with net zero buildings and to operate a net zero fleet of vehicles.

“Decarbonising aviation is an enormous challenge that requires multi-disciplinary global action from across the entire ecosystem, working together towards common goals and with robust policies in place. Embracing technological innovation will be key and as the industry develop solutions, working early with ambitious partners to test and validate these will be fundamental to their implementation and success,” said James Richmond, Advanced Air Mobility Lead at Atkins, which is leading a consortium exploring the use of air taxi services in the South West using eVTOL aircraft. “The work we’re doing today with Bristol Airport is a great example of this and we look forward to jointly shaping the future of flight.”

Commenting on Bristol Airport’s net zero ambitions,  Dave Lees, CEO at Bristol Airport added: “Today is another milestone in looking towards the future showcasing how businesses in the region collaborating together using the latest technology and innovative solutions will meet decarbonisation targets. The aviation industry is taking its responsibilities seriously in addressing climate change challenges, working together to create the solutions now and in the future.”

Riga Airport starts new year with a sustainable outlook

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Riga Airport in Latvia has started 2021 demonstrating its readiness to work sustainably and purposefully to reduce carbon emissions having received Level 2 certification on the global Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme.

The airport achieved Level 2 status having demonstrated a reduction in carbon emissions relative to the average emissions of the previous three years.

“Sustainability, with the environment as one of its key aspects, must be at the heart of any company’s business today. Riga Airport works on these issues in a planned and purposeful manner, implementing its economic activities in such a way as to create as little impact on the environment as possible, but if such an impact exists, to minimize its consequences. By participating in the ACA programme and complying with its guidelines, the goal of Riga Airport is to certify for an ever-higher level of accreditation, ultimately reaching net zero level emissions,” said Laila Odina, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport.

The ACA programme is the only airport-specific carbon reduction programme in the world, the certificate of which confirms an airport’s strategic direction towards sustainable development and mitigation of climate change. More than 300 airports serving 45.1% of passengers worldwide are already signed up to the programme at various levels.