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May 29, 2023

WTTC Urges World Governments to Incentivise Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is urging global governments to become more in their effort towards stimulating the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by establishing bold targets.

In a press release issued last Friday, the WTTC has emphasised that without a substantial supply of SAF, the aviation industry will struggle to decarbonise on a scale necessary to achieve its commitment of reaching Net Zero by 2050, a goal adopted and supported by all ICAO Member States, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

To meet the target of net zero carbon emissions, the aviation sector is planning to:

  • Significantly reduce emissions at their source by employing SAF and groundbreaking propulsion technologies such as hydrogen and electric
  • Implement modern, fuel-efficient aircraft fleets
  • Enhance operational efficiency through measures like improvements in air navigation
  • Engage in solutions beyond the sector, like carbon capture or offsetting

In addition, SAF is predicted to be a significant contributor to the necessary greenhouse gas reductions to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Yet, despite a substantial recent increase in production, the amount of SAF generated remains inadequate for demand, and costs are still high.

The WTTC asserts that without SAF, governments will face challenges in meeting the climate objectives outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

In light of this pressing issue, the WTTC is urging governments to offer robust incentives, such as tax credits, grants, or other financial support, to stimulate investment in SAF production.

Furthermore, the authority emphasises the need for ambitious SAF production goals created in collaboration with the industry. It advises governments to synchronise their efforts through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure global consistency in SAF regulations, standards, practices, and structure.

In this regard, the President and CEO of the WTTC pointed out that the pressing need for governments to prioritise the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). She also urged governments to take decisive action in this direction, noting the stark gap between demand and supply of SAF.

According to her, even though SAF production surged by 200 per cent last year compared to 2021, it still meets only 0.1 per cent to 0.15 per cent of demand. This significant disparity signals an urgent need for quick and substantial investment in SAF production.

Currently, SAF is considerably more expensive than conventional fossil fuels, costing three to five times as much on average. This price gap, Simpson suggests, should be addressed by governments through financial assistance and incentives that can make SAF more available and cost-effective.

Simpson also added that without such decisive initiatives and incentives, it will be difficult for the sector to achieve decarbonisation, further stressing the importance of governmental intervention in this sphere.

Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has started a new plan for the deployment of SAF and the acceleration of its production.

Based on this policy, governments should take a leading role in facilitating increased SAF production. Such a measure also underscores the need to draw attention to the need for policies to address the short – and long-term deployment of SAF and to provide the necessary certainty for producers and investors to allocate existing biofuel refinery capacity to SAF.