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Sustainable aviation fuel production needs govts’ backing to reach 'tipping point'

Governments need to incentivize the production of sustainable aviation fuel to create a “clear tipping point” for the sector’s net zero ambitions, the head of cargo at the International Air Transport Association has insisted.

In a major speech setting out the challenges facing the aviation industry, Brendan Sullivan warned that “every single drop” currently being created of the greener energy source was being used and more was desperately needed.

Speaking at the 16th World Cargo Symposium, held in Istanbul, Sullivan said global events such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had underlined the importance of moving goods by air, but the sector needs to focus on sustainability, digitalization, and safety if it is to continue to thrive.

In October, governments across the world used a meeting of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization to agree to the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the industry’s commitment adopted in 2021.

Sullivan warned that without help from outside the industry that target would be a challenge, and he honed in on the need for support with producing SAF — which will help with 65 percent of carbon abatement.

“SAF is being produced. And every single drop is being used. The problem is that the quantities are small. The solution is government policy incentives. Through incentivizing production, we could see 30 billion liters of SAF available by 2030. That will still be far from where we need to be. But it would be a clear tipping point towards our net zero ambition of ample SAF quantities at affordable prices,” said Sullivan.

The IATA is also focusing on three other areas to support the industry’s sustainability goals.

These include the launch later this year of a precise tool for calculating emissions from operations, known as CO2 Connect for Cargo.

The association is also expanding its environmental assessment to airports, cargo handling facilities, freight forwarders, and ramp handlers in a move which it believes will build trust in the sector’s sustainability drive.

The third area involves developing environmental, social and governance-related metrics to cut through the many methodologies currently in circulation.

As well as sustainability and improving efficiency through digitization, Sullivan said the industry needs to do more when it comes to safety protocols.

“The agenda for air cargo continues to be dominated by lithium batteries. A lot has been done. But, quite honestly, it is still not enough,” he warned.

Part of the measures set out by the IATA include stopping rogue shippers by making sure civil aviation authorities take strong action against those not declaring lithium batteries in cargo or mail shipments.

The association is also calling for the acceleration of a test standard for fire-resistant aircraft containers with a fire involving lithium batteries.

Finally, the IATA wants to see recognition from governments of the single standard to identify all lithium battery-powered vehicles which comes into effect from Jan. 1 2025.

Original Source: Arab News


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