26 October 2017
ICAO Conference Agrees on 2050 Vision for Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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The second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels was held 11-13 October 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico.

ICAO Members agreed on a 2050 Vision to guide the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels.

By 2050, sustainable aviation fuels could reduce GHG emissions from aviation by 32% on a full life-cycle basis.

16 October 2017: Reducing emissions from international aviation is particularly challenging as the options for alternative propulsion technologies and fuels are limited. Efforts by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have therefore focused on alternative fuels for aviation. ICAO members have now adopted a 2050 Vision for the further development and deployment of such fuels.

Adopted at the second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels, the 2050 Vision aims to help international civil aviation stakeholders in their efforts to reduce GHG emissions through the use of sustainable fuel alternatives. According to the draft document, the Vision is a “statement of developments contributing to a long-term vision of transitioning to an extensive use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in international aviation.”

The draft document proposes a successive increase in the share of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from 2% in 2025 to 50% of global aviation fuel demand by 2050. This would lead to life-cycle GHG emissions reductions of 32% compared to conventional fuels. The proposed vision lays out the steps and developments necessary to achieve this trajectory, noting that ICAO members are invited to take steps towards these developments in coordination and with support of industry stakeholders.

According to ICAO, the main advantage of SAF is that their production causes much lower GHG emissions than the production of conventional fuels. On a life-cycle basis, such fuels can reduce total GHG emissions by up to 80%. To promote the development of such fuels, ICAO has established the Global Framework for Aviation and Alternative Fuels (GFAAF), a platform and database to share activities, developments and documentation regarding SAF. The platform provides access to information about certified conversion processes to produce SAF, and allows tracking their use in commercial flights.

The second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels was held 11-13 October 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico. [ICAO Press Release][Conference Website][Proposed ICAO Vision on Aviation Alternative Fuels][ICAO Global Framework for Aviation Alternative Fuels (GFAAF)]

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