Shell Aviation has today signed the Global Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) declaration, committing to promote the acceleration of the development, production, and consumption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

The declaration was signed at the Sustainable Skies World Summit (SSWS), taking place at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre today (April 5) and tomorrow. Shell follows in the footsteps of Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Singapore Airlines who became signatories earlier this year at the Singapore Airshow.

As the first fuel provider to join the Global SAF Declaration, Shell Aviation has given a clear signal of its commitment to working across the value chain in support of wider SAF uptake by the aviation industry.

SAF – key decarbonisation lever

SAF is one of the key decarbonisation levers which will enable the aviation sector to play a part in achieving the Paris Agreement targets by 2050. The Global SAF Declaration calls on industry partners from the aerospace, aviation, and fuel value chains to jointly work towards the uptake of SAF as an important part of decarbonisation, with the ambition to ensure a steady ramp up over the next ten years.

Prior to the signing at the SSWS, Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, told FINN that the event was the first opportunity to bring major players within aerospace together to jointly find solutions which would put the industry on the routemap towards greater sustainability. He explained: “As the energy provider, we need to play a role in this overall ecosystem. We need to raise the concerns need to find solutions jointly. It’s about supply as well as demand that we present.”

“Supply has to be harmonised with demand”

Toschka said the increased roll out of SAF to reduce emissions would only be possible by careful balancing of supply and demand.” He explained: “I think there is willingness to invest, we have invested, we will invest more in order to get better supply, but it has to be harmonised with the demand. So there has to be some certainty, some clarity on the demand picture in order to de-risk our status or investments and that is what comes through, and base principles or incentives on the demand side and from supply support from production.”

Toschka said the industry was moving towards lowering carbon emissions through a number of technological advances. He cited operational efficiencies, followed by SAF for the next decades, followed by electrification and hydrogen propulsion in the longer term. But he added that even with hydrogen-propelled aircraft taking to the skies, he believed biofuels would still play a role in aviation for many years to come.

The declaration is open to all airlines, as well as aviation and aerospace organisations to complement their sustainability commitments. The creation of the Global SAF Declaration was supported by Roland Berger, a leading global consultancy in aerospace sustainability.

Read the full Global SAF Declaration here.

Watch the full interview here

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