WTTC Sustainable Aviation Fuel: Opportunities and Implications for Tourism Destinations

A 17-page report produced by WTTC, the Foreword of which makes the case for the importance of aviation to economies and communities around the world.  But it also acknowledges that in 2019 Travel and Tourism accounted for 8.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with international aviation contributing one-seventh of this amount. 

The report stresses that it is not simply down to airlines to invest in more environmentally friendly aircraft, governments have a vital role to play in ensuring a ‘single skies’ approach to managing air traffic. 

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are discussed at length in the report including setting out how destinations can demonstrate their green credentials by supporting the development of SAF technologies over the next few years. 

It is argued that destinations should collaborate closely with the aviation sector, forming public/private partnerships to drive forward the development of sustainable transport technologies across all modes of transport.  

While SAFs exist today and are already powering a number of flights, the scale at which they are produced is miniscule in comparison with the production of fossil fuels used to get the vast majority of aircraft airborne.  It is also true that the cost of producing SAFs is higher than for producing fossil fuels to power aircraft, underscoring the need for public investment.