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UK sets out “Jet Zero” strategy; 5 commercial-scale SAF plants by 2025, 10% SAF by end of decade

The UK Government set out its Jet Zero strategy. Launched at Farnborough International Airshow, the strategy commits UK domestic aviation to achieving net zero emissions by 2040, and for all airports in England to be zero-emission by the same year.

It also includes a plan for the industry to stay below pre-pandemic levels of carbon emissions through measures focused on everything from delivering system efficiencies to new technologies, with progress monitored annually.

The 6 priority areas set out in the strategy are:

  • Improving the efficiency of the existing aviation system, from aircraft to airports and airspace. For example, improving fuel efficiency by 2% every year and providing a further £3.7 million in 2022 to 2023 to support airports to modernize their airspace.

  • Increasing support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), by creating secure and growing UK SAF demand through a SAF mandate that will require at least 10% of jet fuel to be made from sustainable sources by 2030 and kickstarting a domestic SAF industry, supported by the new £165-million (US$198 million) Advanced Fuels Fund.

  • Supporting the development of zero-emission aircraft, with the aspiration of having zero-emission routes connecting places across the UK by 2030.

  • Developing carbon markets and greenhouse gas removal technologies to drive decarbonization and offset any residual emissions, including by enhancing the UK Emission Trade Scheme (UK ETS).

  • Providing consumers with better information so they can make sustainable aviation choices. The government will publish a call for evidence on a proposal to provide consumers with environmental information at the time of booking air travel in autumn 2022.

  • Increasing understanding of the non-CO2 impacts of aviation, such as contrails and nitrogen oxides. The effects of these remain uncertain; the UK government will work closely with academia and industry to monitor global developments in this area, increase understanding, potential mitigations and explore a means of tracking these emissions.

SAF is a core part of the Jet Zero strategy, and projects looking to produce SAF in the UK can bid for a share of the new £165-million Advanced Fuels Fund. Building on the progress of the £15-million Green Fuels, Green Skies competition, this new funding will help achieve the aim to have at least 5 commercial SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025.


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