The aviation sector is “willing, ready and committed” to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Laia Barbarà, community lead for sustainable aviation at the World Economic Forum (WEF), has said.

But ramping up production and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is key in reaching that goal, Barbarà added.

100 companies committed to SAF

So far, 100 companies have committed to the Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative – a coalition led by the WEF to push the use and supply of SAF to 10 per cent by 2030.

“This is very exciting because we are getting there and things are moving, the sector is doing its homework,” she explained.

“We need to get everyone on board, but already 100 is a great number. It is a very ambitious target that we are pushing forward to. 10 per cent SAF by 2030 is the equivalent of saving 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year, creating at least 300 SAF plants, and the equivalent of having 300,000 green jobs, so there are a lot of benefits.”

Battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled aircraft

With impressive progress on SAF, the industry is on a trajectory that could see emissions begin to be cut dramatically.

“I am quite optimistic that the aviation sector is going to reach this target of net zero by the middle of the century, because we do have the ambition, the industry is willing, ready and committed,” Barbarà said.

“We also have a plan. In addition there are already existing technologies that have been proven that are available today. SAF is the short term solution that is available and we need to put all our efforts into scaling it up while we keep developing battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.”

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter