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Future Fuels

Update 28th November 2023 - Virgin Atlantic has just flown the first 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flight to the USA in advance of COP28. But it is a gimmick. The flight will produce exactly the same amount of CO2 as a flight using Jet A-1 fossil fuel. It is yet another way the oil industry wants people to think flying can be "green" and it is a way the aviation industry will get the UK government to use public money to build SAF plants in the UK rather than the oil producers paying for it.

SAF alternative aviation fuel

Much like the tobacco industry or the fossil fuels industry, the aviation industry will have you believe that everyone can keep flying and technology will provide a solution to address the issue of CO2 emissions – but this is rubbish. It is greenwashing and following complaints by FNG to the Advertising Standards Authority, our complaint of greenwashing by the airport has been upheld. Suggesting future fuels are just around the corner is just the way that the industry kicks the can down the road and keeps making profits until drastic short-term measures are required that will wreck the careers and futures of hundreds and thousands of workers in the aviation sector as well as causing irreparable environmental harm through climate change. What is needed is an organised transition to a smaller aviation sector. The fact that the current UK government plans to double aviation in the next eight years is impossible if it is to have any hope of tackling climate change that will (and already is) impacting everyone’s lives. This delaying tactic is the same approach the water industries have applied by paying bonuses and dividends rather than investing in the much needed infrastructure. The challenges don’t go away, they just get bigger. At the Sustainable Skies World Summit held by Farnborough International in March 2024, 91% of those who voted at the event said that aviation was unlikely to meet net zero targets - and the attendees were predominantly aviation businesses.


There is plenty of information available. Have a look at Green Sky Thinking’s videos – Finlay Asher presented at the FACC meeting in June 2023. Or have a look at the information compiled by Stay Grounded that looks at each of the fuel solutions suggested by the aviation sector. The Royal Society has also produced a report highlighting the misunderstandings relating to alternative aviation fuels. The ONLY way to reduce emissions from aviation is to fly less and a fair way to reduce flying for those who cause the most pollution to pay more. That means a tax on private jets, jet fuel and a tax on frequent flyers.

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