IATA to establish SAF Registry to accelerate uptake

IATA to establish SAF Registry to accelerate uptake
The registry will provide safeguards against double counting and double claiming, IATA said (Image credit: @tanaonte/Adobe Stock)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced it will establish a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) registry to accelerate uptake by accounting and reporting emissions reductions from the fuel.

17 airlines, one airline group, six national authorities, three OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and one fuel producer are already supporting the effort to develop the association’s SAF Registry, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2025.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said: “SAF is key to aviation’s decarbonisation. Airlines want more SAF and stand ready to use every drop of it.

“The SAF Registry will help meet the critical needs of all stakeholders as part of the global effort to ramp up SAF production. Governments need a trusted system to track the quality and quantities of SAF used.

“SAF producers need to accurately account for what has been delivered and effectively decarbonised. Corporate customers must be able to transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions, and airlines must have certainty that they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they purchased.”

Walsh added: “The registry will meet all these needs. In doing so, the registry will help create a global SAF market by ensuring that airlines have access to SAF wherever it is produced, and that SAF producers have access to airlines regardless of their location.”

SAF is expected to account for up to 65 per cent of the total carbon mitigation needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions in air transportation by 2050.

According to IATA, the SAF Registry will allow airlines to purchase sustainable aviation fuel regardless of where it is produced.

Each batch’s certified environmental attributes can be tracked and assigned to the purchasing airline.

By ensuring the environmental attributes of SAF are properly recorded and transferred between parties, airlines and their customers can report emissions reductions accurately, aligning with any reporting obligations and international standards, the association added.

The registry will help airlines meet regulations, such as the carbon offsetting reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA) and the EU emissions trading scheme, to ensure compliance with SAF mandates and provide transparency to authorities regarding emissions reductions.

IATA claimed it will also ensure that the sector’s agreed SAF accounting and reporting principles are adhered to and that they are fully in alignment with international protocols and industry best practices.

To achieve this, the registry will provide safeguards against double counting and double claiming – and ensure the immutability and integrity of all interventions under the registry.

Unique among the project’s stakeholders is the participation of governments with the specific aim of ensuring compliance with the requirements of civil aviation authorities.

Relevant authorities can swiftly validate and approve claims, update national emission inventories and align their actions with international standards, such as those set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).