Industry welcomes cross-party support for sustainable aviation fuels in Parliamentary debate

posted on 15th October 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Industry welcomes cross-party support for sustainable aviation fuels in Parliamentary debate

In a debate in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon, MPs from across the political spectrum spoke out about the need to back early stage sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facilities.

The debate “Work of the Jet Zero Council”, took place in Westminster Hall and was secured by member of the Conservative Environment Network, Andrew Selous MP. A group of cross-party MPs attended and made contributions to the proceedings, including Aviation Minister Robert Courts, Shadow Green Transport Minister Kerry McCarthy, and Catherine McKinnell, co-chair of the APPG on Sustainable Aviation.

Members of Parliament used the opportunity to highlight the important work of the Jet Zero Council, convened by the Prime Minister, Transport Secretary, and BEIS Secretary in July 2020 to bring Government and industry together to accelerate aviation decarbonisation.

Recently published research by industry coalition Sustainable Aviation confirmed that the UK could be home to up to 14 sustainable aviation fuel facilities, in seven clusters across the country: Teesside, Humberside, the North West, South Wales, Southampton, St Fergus, and Grangemouth. Through UK production and global exports of technology and expertise, this potential UK SAF industry could deliver £2.9 billion annually to the UK economy, create 20,200 jobs in SAF production and exports, and save 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2038.

The next meeting of the Jet Zero Council is due to take place at the end of October, which will be an important opportunity for Government and industry to discuss and make progress on accelerating the development of early stage SAF facilities.

Debate organiser Andrew Selous MP said in Parliament:

“We should harness our huge strength in aviation technology and engineering to find new solutions to allow us to fly without wrecking the planet.”

“We also need to ensure that the United Kingdom is at the forefront of sustainable aviation, so that the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future are provided here. We cannot leave this to chance, as has unfortunately happened with other technologies in the past.”

Speaking at the debate on Wednesday, Aviation Minister Robert Courts MP said:

“Britain has always led the way on aviation, and we will continue to do so. There is a huge prize in sight: developing the sector that meets the challenges of the future, and we will be front and centre, capturing those first mover advantages.”

Adam Morton, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, said:

“The support from a broad range of MPs from right across the political landscape is testament to this crucial issue. It’s so important to see this coalition come together to back early stage sustainable aviation fuel facilities.

“With £500m in Government support to commercialise these projects, we can create thousands of jobs, slash our carbon emissions, and make Britain a world leader in green aviation technology.”