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Ensuring a sustainable future for aviation

18th June, 2021

Davy Group hosted its 13th Annual Transportation Conference on June 17th with a strong representation from Europe’s leading airline operators, lessors and key industry contributors including Eurocontrol. For the event’s Sustainable Aviation panel Dr Dorothy Maxwell, Sustainability Director from Davy Horizons was joined by Kevin Soubly, Project Lead, Clean Skies for Tomorrow – World Economic Forum; Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President, Renewable Aviation, Neste; Jan Melgaard, Executive Chairman, FPG Amentum. Their insights have helped frame the content for our White Paper Ensuring a sustainable future for aviation.

“A transition to carbon-neutral flying is possible and sustainable aviation fuels are the most promising decarbonization pathway in the near term.“

Kevin Soubly – Project Lead, Clean Skies for Tomorrow, World Economic Forum


 Key takeaways:

  • Aviation is an essential sector connecting people and economies, but its role is increasingly being challenged by its contribution to global climate change. The sector currently represents c.3% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions* and if no interventions are made, emissions from the aviation industry are projected to triple by 2050.
  • While the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the industry, fast-tracking the shift to a low and zero carbon future continues to be backed by international commitments and is being viewed by the aviation industry as an innovation opportunity.
  • The aviation industry has already committed to 50% net CO2 emissions reduction by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. The next 10 years are critical to getting on a path to achieving those targets.
  • To meet carbon neutrality, a collaborative approach between government, industry and investors is essential; commercialisation and scale are key to meeting this urgent timetable.
  • While there is no silver bullet to address the industry’s carbon footprint, pathways to carbon-neutral aviation include cleaner propulsion and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technologies, air traffic management, market-based measures, industry agreed offsetting and industry collaborations.
  • SAF are the most promising of those decarbonisation pathways in the near term. A proven technology, SAF is currently on a journey similar to that of wind energy in terms scaling and commercialisation. Its goal is to become a reasonable economic alternative to jet fuel.
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel has the same characteristics in terms of quality and safety as fossil kerosene used in jet fuel. Depending on the feedstock and production pathway used, SAF produces 80% less CO2 emissions than normal jet fuel.
  • If the aviation sector is to meet its CO2 targets aligned to the Paris Agreement to halt global warming at 1.5°C, there is no time to waste. The actions taken in the next ten years matter. It’s time to get off the fence and support the solutions in play.


*CO2 and non CO2

Download White Paper

Ensuring a sustainable future for aviation.

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Download White Paper

Ensuring a sustainable future for aviation.

Download now

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Davy 13th Annual Transport Conference

Davy Horizons hosted a panel discussion, Ensuring a sustainable future for aviation, as part of the Davy 13th Annual Transport Conference on 17 June 2021.

This event explored how the aviation industry is reducing emissions and the low carbon technologies and innovations that are starting to appear on the horizon.

Watch the full recording.

Sustainable Insights