UK and US to meet at summit on sustainable aviation

During an investment summit in Detroit, the UK and US will get together to talk about Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and lowering emissions in the aviation industry.

For the SAF Investment Summit, transport secretary Mark Harper has traveled to the city to meet with industry executives and his American colleague, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Harper described the trip as a “crucial part” of the work to reduce aviation emissions, saying: “We’ve never been more aligned with the USA on the future of aviation and what that entails – whether it’s boosting jobs, opening new trade opportunities or delivering guilt-free air travel.” 

In order to accelerate the development of SAFs, which is viewed as a crucial step for the industry to go towards net-zero emissions, representatives from Canada and Singapore will also be present.

When compared to fuels based on fossil fuels, SAFs, which are fuels derived from waste or byproducts like spent frying oil, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.

The UK government’s “Jet Zero” policy established a goal of SAF making up 10% of aviation fuel by 2030, however Sustainable Aviation, a UK industry alliance, sought for further government assistance to help attract investment earlier this year.

The UK’s strategy includes aims for net-zero emissions for the domestic aviation sector by 2040 and for other sectors by 2050. To support these objectives, the government has established funding models such the $197.8 million (£165 million) Advanced Fuels Fund.

The Jet Zero Council has unveiled an action plan, which includes investments in pioneering SAF plants, for the decarbonization of the aviation sector over the next two years.

The UK government is hoping that the summit in Detroit will serve as a “springboard” for business conversations on these concerns because it will be attended by industry titans including Boeing, United Airlines, World Energy, and the International Air Transport Association.

Recently, Boeing demonstrated its commitment to advancing sustainable technologies by expanding its ecoDemonstrator test program and pledging to deploy ‘Explorer’ aircraft to test specific technologies, such as the usage of SAFs and sustainable wall panels.


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