Boris warned UK ‘falling behind’ EU in emerging tech – ‘world leader’ status threatened

Rolls-Royce Chief discusses target for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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While the British company is trying to help decarbonise the industry with its new carbon offsetting scheme, Jet2 has claimed that the Government should be doing more instead of playing catchup with the bloc. According to Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy, the EU has reportedly done more to produce sustainable aviation fuel in commercial-scale volumes. Back in October, Rolls-Royce CTO Paul Stein told Express.co.uk that sustainable aviation fuel was one of three crucial pillars needed to decarbonise the sector.

Sustainable aviation fuels are fuels that will eventually be net zero – one of the Prime Minister leading targets.

When a sustainable aviation fuel is burnt in an engine, it takes an atom of carbon from the atmosphere at puts it back into the atmosphere again.

But while companies like Rolls-Royce and Jet2 are looking at opportunities to boost innovation, Mr Heapy claims that Government policy may be holding them back.

Jet2 has committed to use UK-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by no later than 2026.

Mr Heapy told Express.co.uk: “We are falling behind our counterparts in the EU, where sustainable aviation fuel is already being produced in commercial-scale volumes.

“The UK has a genuine opportunity to lead the world in sustainable aviation, but we risk falling behind unless the Government increases its ambition.”

And he added that Britain has “only said it will consult on a mandate to enable 10 percent SAF use by 2030”.

This is also far less ambitious than the US’ target, Mr Heapy noted, which has “committed to meet 100% percent of aviation fuel demand using SuAFy 2050 “.

But Jet2 is said to be doing its best to fight back and is encouraging the Government to realise its full potential.

Mr Heapy added: “Whilst we support the Government in its desire to decarbonise aviation, our ambition goes beyond what they are currently proposing.

“We are calling for the Government to step up the investment in practical innovations to help decarbonise the sector, such as sustainable aviation fuel.

“The UK could become a world leader in this area.

“However, to realise the economic and environmental benefits that this could bring, it needs turbo-charging by Government.”

And Jet2 has identified some apparent flaws in the Government’s existing policy too as the sector tries to go green.

“We are also challenging the Government to be more transparent in how it uses carbon levies and taxes.

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“It is our firm view that they should be used to directly fund decarbonisation.

“This is what these systems were set up to do, but currently there is no transparency about where these levies and taxes go, how they are spent or what environmental benefits they achieve.”

Jet2’s scheme pledges to offset every tonne of its carbon emissions not already covered by their contribution to existing schemes.

Mr Heapy said: “It is our responsibility to pay for every tonne of carbon we emit.

“This is the right thing to do as opposed to putting the burden onto consumers to take action.

“We do this by paying into four carbon schemes – the UK ETS scheme, the EU ETS scheme, CORSIA, and now our own carbon offsetting programme too.

“All the offsets that we will use are from either the UN clean development mechanism (CDM) or other high-quality providers such as the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard.

“The projects will support the growth of renewable energy around the world, displacing fossil fuel generation and generating affordable clean energy.”

Carbon offset is a method of compensating for emissions by funding a project that reduces or store carbon dioxide, such as tree planting.

But carbon offsetting has attracted some criticism on the grounds that emissions need to be dramatically slashed to avoid environmental catastrophe.

Critics say that things like carbon credits (a permit that allows one to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide) are mere distractions from the damage that emissions cause.

And the UN’s IPCC report issued a “code red” for humanity, stressing the urgent need to cut emissions to avoid climate disaster.

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for comment.

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