The solution to carbon-neutral aviation could be the use of sustainable aviation fuels, according to a joint study by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey.
The aviation sector has formed a coalition with the initiative of the World Economic Forum, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. The merger involves industry players such as KLM, Airbus, Boeing, Neste Oyj, Shell, and Heathrow and Schiphol Airports. In addition to them, governments and civilians are also involved in the work. According to stakeholders, carbon-neutral aviation can be achieved through the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).
Emissions from the transport sector, including the transport sector, account for one-fifth of the pollution associated with the global energy industry, but the pace of sustainability efforts is far below what is needed. Aviation produces about one billion metric tons of harmful substances annually, which is about 3 percent of global carbon emissions.
Compared to other industries, aviation faces specific challenges, as the average cost of reducing emissions from the sector is five times higher than the similar costs of energy production or agriculture. In addition, global competition between players in the aviation sector makes it difficult to pursue sustainability aspirations.
In addition, the epidemic has hit the aviation sector hard. As a result of closures and quarantine measures, the number of passengers on planes has dropped by 60 percent, with revenues in the sector falling by about $ 400 billion this year. As a result of the crisis, thousands of jobs have been lost in the aviation sector, many have filed for bankruptcy and many will survive only thanks to substantial public financial support. Once the epidemic situation is brought down, aviation is expected to return to its usual pace at a faster pace than other industries. Demand for aviation fuel could increase by more than 50 percent by 2050 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Governments and civilians alike are calling for change: Norway, for example, already stipulates that 0.5 per cent of aviation fuel in the country must be sustainable, this proportion will increase to 30 per cent by 2030, and it is planned that in 2040 only 100 per cent of short-haul electricity will be electric. drive will be enabled.
Although alternatives such as hydrogen or electricity are available, they face significant technical constraints in the short term, as an aircraft entering the market has a long lifespan, and a new aircraft must be operational by at least 2040 in order to pay for itself. Sustainable aviation fuels can provide a solution to this problem, according to the World Economic Forum.
The organization aims to make SAF widely used by the industry by 2030, promoting carbon-neutral aviation. Although only 200,000 metric tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel were produced worldwide last year – only a fraction of the 300 million tonnes used by commercial flights – the initiative is a good opportunity for industry players to continue to work together in the SAF area. By boosting production, the use of SAF in total aviation could spread as early as 2030.