Boeing, Airbus and Embraer have come together to work with governments and biofuel producers to promote and speed up the availability of jet fuels that reduce carbon emissions.
The three aircraft makers signed a memorandum of understanding at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva, Boeing said in a statement.
“Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment,” Boeing CEO Jim Albaugh said.
“We’ve achieved a lot in the last ten years in reducing our industry’s CO2 footprint – a 45 percent traffic growth with only three percent more fuel consumption,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “The production and use of sustainable quantities of aviation biofuels is key to meeting our industry’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets and we are helping to do this through R+T, our expanding network of worldwide value chains and supporting the EU commission towards its target of four per cent of biofuel for aviation by 2020.”
“Innovation, technology and competition push our respective products to the highest levels of performance,” said Albaugh. “Through our common vision of lessening aviation’s environmental impacts, and our collective efforts to develop sustainable fuels, we can accelerate their availability and do the right thing for the planet we share.”
“We are all committed to take a leading role in the development of technology programs that will facilitate aviation biofuels development and actual application faster than if we were doing it independently,” said Paulo César Silva, Embraer President, Commercial Aviation. “Few people know that Brazil´s well known automotive biofuels program started within our aeronautical research community, back in the seventies, and we will keep on making history.”
“Having these three aviation leaders set aside their competitive differences and work together in support of biofuel development, underscores the importance and focus the industry is placing on sustainable practices,” said ATAG Executive Director Paul Steele. “Through these types of broad industry collaboration agreements, aviation is doing all it can to drive measurable reductions in carbon emissions, while continuing to provide strong global economic and social value.”
All three companies are affiliate members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (www.safug.org), which includes 23 leading airlines responsible for approximately 25 percent of annual aviation fuel use.
Airbus, Boeing and Embraer are active around the globe in helping to establish regional supply chains, while the three manufacturers have all supported numerous biofuel flights since global fuel standards bodies granted their approval for commercial use in 2011.
A new EU law that took effect from January 1 makes it obligatory for airlines flying in and out of the region to buy carbon permits to offset their emissions.
However, a trade war is brewing with the United States, China and India — the top three carbon emitters — questioning the EU’s legal jurisdiction to charge for an entire flight.