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UK scales up net zero flying commitments

The UK government says it has helped lead the aviation industry to an agreement to reduce emissions from aviation fuel by 5 per cent by 2030.

It says the UK continues to be a leader in the transition towards cleaner flying and that the agreement, made at ICAO’s third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels, is a further step towards defining how sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will help the industry achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As COP28 approaches this week, a new framework will enable countries around the world to develop their own SAF industries, turning cleaner flying into a reality globally.

Anthony Browne, the UK’s aviation minister, said: “Sustainable aviation is a promise that the global sector wants to make a reality. That’s why [this] 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.”

He added: “This deal shows that, when the world comes together and co-operates, we can bring about real change.”

The agreement outlines the support available to countries at the beginning of their SAF journey and enables them to take part in the global aviation energy transition, the government says.

The framework includes a new global target to reduce emissions by 5 per cent by 2030 using cleaner fuels, underpinned by a comprehensive package of policies and supporting measures to ensure all regions of the world can start producing and using SAF as soon as possible.

But the UK remains committed to further action in this area, with the government’s domestic SAF Mandate requiring 10 per cent SAF in the UK fuel mix by 2030, delivering a 7 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

Last week, it announced a further £53 million from its Advanced Fuels Fund to scale up the UK SAF industry and help see five commercial SAF plants under construction by 2025.

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