A coalition of UK airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers is calling for the creation of a government Office for Sustainable Aviation Fuels.

Such a body would help make the UK a world-leader in the technology with £150 million needed to support commercial sustainable aviation fuel plants being built across the UK.

The Sustainable Aviation group has been formed in response to the government setting a ‘net zero’ carbon target for the UK by 2050.

Challenging sector to decarbonise, Sustainable Aviation believes that immediate untapped opportunities are the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels – which could reduce emissions in 2050 by nearly 25% – and critical airspace modernisation, which is currently underway.

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Ministers are also being urged to continue lobbying through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to agree a meaningful world-wide long-term emissions reduction target consistent with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.

This will build upon the global carbon offsetting scheme CORSIA which will allow aviation to compensate for the emissions it cannot yet eliminate by paying for high-quality, independently verified emissions savings in other areas from 2021.

Chairman Neil Robinson, speaking today at the industry’s annual aviation reception, will say: “Aviation is a UK success story and fully accepts its role in helping the UK meet its carbon targets. Aviation wants to grow but it wants to do so sustainably.

“We want to work with government to see what more we can and should do to enable aviation to go further and faster in reducing our emissions, including through modernising UK airspace, investing in the creation of low-carbon technologies and delivering sustainable aviation fuels at scale.

“Fundamentally, aviation is a global industry and needs a global solution. While we can reconcile future growth with more stretching climate goals, this can only work if the UK continues to work with international partners, giving leadership to the international process.”

Aviation minister Baroness Vere said: “We continue to lead the world through the International Civil Aviation Organisation to develop global measures to tackle aviation emissions.

“The support of the UK aviation industry is vital to tackling climate change and ensuring the sector becomes one of the greenest in the world.

“With their investment we are modernising our airspace to make flying quicker, quieter and cleaner.”

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