Do we have really have cross party support for meeting net zero targets in aviation?

With the election just a few days away, it is encouraging to see that behind the headlines there is still a focus on tackling climate change and strengthening UK energy security with a strong lean from all political parties on generating renewable energy at home.

Many industries, including aviation, are aiming for net zero by 2050. According to Department for Transport research aviation produces the largest indirect effects of all transport modes showing how vital it is for the sector to reduce emissions. Recently, we have seen an increasing support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) development, which will safeguard the long-term future of the aviation industry.

In terms of what we have seen in political pledges in recent weeks, the Labour Party has pledged to support the development of SAF, recognising the need to secure the aviation industry’s ‘long-term future’. This is alongside the Conservative Party who are committed to the SAF mandate that sets progressive targets for aviation fuel suppliers to provide increasing amounts of sustainable fuels from 2025 to 2040.

Meanwhile the cross-party consensus on SAF continues, with the SNP supporting the use of “bridging fuels in the maritime and aviation sectors”. Plaid Cymru would “support removing the tax on renewable liquid fuels” and the Liberal Democrats would take steps to reduce the climate impact of flying. This provides a strong foundation for future progress to ensure that we are able to achieve climate ambitions.

It is clear that our political leaders recognise the need for a sustainable transition to net zero. The climate challenges we face are simply too large to continue dithering, but we must ensure the communities and countries with the lowest incomes are supported in the green energy transition. Put simply, whether countries should not be sending their emissions offshore.

Political leaders understand the necessity of a sustainable transition to net zero. Ensuring communities with low incomes are supported in this transition is essential. Policies promoting net zero across all transport forms are needed, as seen in SNP’s pledge to ban new non-zero-emission buses by 2025.

Renovare Fuels is innovating by converting biodegradable waste into biofuels. However, the sector needs more traction and funding to meet growing sustainable fuel demands, especially if the pledges in the manifestos and our net zero targets are to be met.

Renovare Fuels is expanding in Northern Ireland with a new plant producing two million liters of SAF annually. We have the capacity and technology to produce more than 250 million litres of our fuel by 2035. As industry is leading the way in ensuring we address climate challenges, innovative businesses like Renovare Fuels require continued support so we keep up with demand.

It is important to remember before the election, and continuing beyond the 4 July, that we need to work nation-wide to ensure that we meet our net zero ambitions.

No matter who is in power following the election, all industries and political parties need to play their role. By 2030, we are seeking to have significant number of landfill and anaerobic digestion sites across the UK and Europe to help meet these international net zero targets.

As we step into the future after the next election, continued collaboration across the major sectors will be required between industry and policy makers to support the UK’s transition to net zero and help is become the first country to completely stop using petrol and diesel.

Duncan Clark, Development Director of Renovare Fuels

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