Sustainable Skies World Summit 2022: Industry optimistic in reaching Net Zero targets by 2050

The inaugural Sustainable Skies World Summit (SSWS) highlighted the aerospace optimism to meet net zero targets by 2050, but only if rapid developments can be made with global policies and technology innovations are efficiently scaled.

The two-day event organised by Farnborough International, in partnership with Sustainable Aviation UK, International Airlines Group, ADS and British Aviation Group, delved deep into the industry’s actions, strategies and goals in decarbonising the global industry. From implementing international roadmaps and utilising Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to the execution of hydrogen and hybrid engines.

During his opening speech, Robert Courts MP, Aviation Minister, said “The skies above our heads have been the stage on which so much history has played out, but the skies would not reveal to the naked eye the looming threat posed by climate change. In the spirit of all those innovators who continue to shape the world of aviation, it is right that we tackle the next challenge here. To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, we must reach net zero global emissions by around the middle of the century. This means we need to halve global emissions in this decade, so the urgency of our response to this challenge could not be greater.”

Carolina Martinoli, Chief People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, IAG, stressed the importance of working with governments to implement the right policies: “We are working to secure SAF for the future; however, we urgently need the right policies in place to deliver investors some certainty and ensure that the fuel can be scaled efficiency and purchased at a competitive price. Aviation isn’t a sector easily de-carbonised, so we need to ensure we take the right steps in achieving it.”

Laia Barbara, Sustainable Aviation Community Lead, World Economic Forum, added: “The industry is committed to reducing aviation emissions, and there are new technologies being developed – we just now need to ensure these developments are made available to the wider industry.”

On the first day of the summit, Shell Aviation signed the Global Sustainable Aviation Fuel declaration, committing to promote the acceleration of the development, production, and consumption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Shell follows in the footsteps of Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Singapore Airlines who became signatories earlier this year at the Singapore Airshow.

Hosted at Farnborough International’s world-class Exhibition & Conference Centre 5-6 April, the event welcomed more than 50 international speakers across the two-day programme.

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