Aerospace industry: ‘Greenwashing’ | Seattle weather

Subject: “Burnt by climate change, the aeronautical industry is mobilizing for a sustainable fuel” [July 23, Business]:

I’m as keen as anyone to have an environmentally friendly flight, but there are critical issues with the industry’s promotion of what it calls Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as a solution.

Note that the use of SAF does not mean that the flight will be carbon neutral. SAF does not reduce greenhouse gas or carbon emissions from aircraft operation, although it may result in reduced life cycle emissions.

Additionally, all of the SAF studies have revealed that the world will not be able to produce enough SAF to meet aviation climate goals. For example, the International Council on Clean Transportation found that creating enough SAF to replace jet fuel by 2050 would require converting all of the world’s grasslands to biofuel crops, which is clearly impossible. The Bain & Co. report cited in the article indicates that it would be impossible to produce enough SAF for aviation, even with massive subsidies.

This is greenwashing at its best, claiming that SAF will save us and all we lack is the will. SAF has the potential to achieve minor reductions in aviation lifecycle emissions, but it cannot significantly address the climate impacts of the rapid and continued increase in aviation. The only climate-friendly solution is to reduce flights.

Laura Gibbons, Seattle