President Biden today struck an agreement with major U.S. airlines to cut greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft by 20% by the end of the decades.
The deal is part of a larger set of cross-agency actions the administration is taking to decarbonize the aviation sector and the economy by 2050. Transportation is the biggest source of global warming pollution of the planet in the United States, and aviation accounts for 11% of these emissions.
This transformation to a zero-carbon aviation sector will require coordinated innovation and leadership from the federal government, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, fuel producers and airports, the administration said in its announcement.
Members of Airlines for America, an industry trade group, have pledged to rapidly expand the production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), making 3 billion gallons of SAF available in the United States d ‘by 2030. SAFs are made from raw materials like used cooking oil and animal fats and have lower emissions than fossil jet fuel on a life cycle basis.
Members of the airline group include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
President Biden called on the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Agriculture to work with industry to reduce costs and expand availability of FAS to reduce cycle greenhouse gas emissions. life of at least 50% compared to conventional fuels. USDA will also work with farmers to increase their production of SAF ingredients.
The administration has called on the EPA and DOE to work together to expedite regulatory approval of new feedstocks that could be used to produce more sustainable fuels.
And the Federal Aviation Administration will award 14 grants totaling $ 3.6 million to support FAS assessment tests. NASA and the Department of Defense will also launch research and development efforts, among other federal actions.
Today’s announcement comes as aviation industry stakeholders propose new emission reduction commitments.
United Airlines and Honeywell announced a multi-million dollar investment in Alder Fuels to produce FAS on a large scale. United has agreed to buy 1.5 billion gallons of SAF over 20 years, which is the largest deal to date.
American Airlines has announced plans to purchase 10 million gallons of SAF from Prometheus Fuels by 2025.
JetBlue is committed to developing electric and hydrogen aircraft by working with Joby Aviation and Universal Hydrogen.
And Chevron Corp. and renewable energy company Gevo Inc. today announced a joint investment in the construction and operation of at least one SAF facility, among other recent announcements.
The White House said today’s announcement builds on the president’s proposed SAF tax credit, which is expected to be included in the massive spending bill that will be passed by Congress.
The tax credit, which is seen as crucial to making fuel economically viable, would require a reduction of at least 50% in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and provide increased incentives for deeper reductions. .
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