Heathrow Boss Urges UK SAF Mandate

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Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye has called for the UK government to show real leadership ahead of the COP26 climate conference being held in Glasgow next month by announcing ambitious policies on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). “We should aim for 2019 to have been the peak year for fossil fuel use in global aviation. The UK government can show real leadership in decarbonizing aviation at COP26, by setting a progressively increasing mandate and a plan to use contracts for difference to accelerate the transition to SAF in the UK, which will protect the benefits of flying for future generations,” Holland-Kaye urged in an Oct. 11 statement. The industry is still waiting for the results of the UK government’s SAF blending mandate consultation, which closed on Sep. 19. Heathrow says it wants to see ambitious mandates, a price support mechanism and loan guarantees to help scale up UK SAF production. Heathrow seems to favor contracts for difference (CFDs), which are already used in the UK to support low-carbon electricity generation, rather than a renewables fuel obligation scheme like the one currently used for road transport. CFDs ensure producers get a guaranteed price that is enough to support investment while at the same time reducing operational risk.

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