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ACI applauds ICAO goal for sustainable aviation fuel

Posted: 27 November 2023 | | No comments yet

ACI applauds the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and their goals for sustainable aviation fuel.

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ICAO will enhance safety via new regulation.

Airports Council International (ACI) applauds the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) goal for sustainable aviation fuel to come from the Third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) that took place in Dubai from 20–24 November. 

On 24 November, governments from over 100 states, meeting with industry and civil society, have set a goal that aviation fuel in 2030 should be 5% less carbon intensive than the fossil fuel which makes up nearly all of today’s aviation energy. This will be achieved through a transition to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), lower carbon aviation fuels (LCAF), and other cleaner energies which will play a pivotal role in the industry’s ability to deliver the ICAO Long Term Aspirational Goal.

The ICAO CAAF/3 conference also agreed a Global Framework for Cleaner Energies, which provides for assistance to help states with the transition.

During the five-day event, ACI, representing the airport industry, had expressed its support for the aviation sector transition away from fossil fuels. ACI had pressed for an ambitious quantified goal for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) deployment for 2030, with a view that a 5% reduction in the carbon intensity goal should be considered a necessary starting point.

ACI had also asked that states agree on a supportive global framework to enable implementation of the goal and to provide the necessary assistance to developed and developing countries. These measures would de-risk investment and ensure policy certainty, while enabling all states to participate both in the production and use of SAF on a non-discriminatory basis, allowing them to take advantage of the energy transition, building new industries, and providing up to 14 million jobs.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “ACI applauds and supports the visionary ICAO goal for 5% carbon intensity reduction by 2030 – it will be crucial to delivering the ICAO Long Term Aspirational Goal of net zero carbon emission by 2050. ACI was present and engaged at ICAO CAAF/3, advocating on behalf of airports for this goal – this is a prime example of how regulators and industry can work together. We look forward to continuing to foster consensus across regulators and industry at the upcoming COP28.

“Airports are already taking action in a number of ways, most importantly by engaging with fuel suppliers, airlines, and local and national regulators. Despite the transition to SAF already underway with policy measures being implemented or discussed in around 40 countries, supportive policies will be crucial to speed up the development and supply of SAF globally.”

Demonstrating the UK’s climate leadership, Aviation Minister Anthony Browne chaired a meeting of the UK-convened International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition and addressed the conference on the opening day. The coalition has a diverse membership of 62 governments and organisations committed to leading the way to net zero aviation by 2050.

UK Aviation Minister Anthony Browne said: 

“Sustainable aviation is a promise that the global sector wants to make a reality – that’s why today’s agreement is so important – not only giving a renewed commitment to delivering a net zero future but outlining the next steps in the industry’s flightpath towards it.

“While the UK sought to secure greater ambition, this is a significant moment in our path to sustainable flying. The UK remains steadfast in its commitment to decarbonise international aviation.

“This deal shows that, when the world comes together and cooperates, we can bring about real change.”

In February 2023, ACI joined the ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme and has long been supporting its airport members in decarbonisation, including through the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, managed by ACI EUROPE.

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