DUBAI, May 11 (Reuters) – Emirates airline said on Thursday it had committed $200 million to a research fund focusing on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation, because hitting net zero emissions targets would not be possible with currently available options.
Emirates President Tim Clark said the biggest impediment for airlines in reducing their environmental impact was currently fuel.
“It’s clear that with the current pathways available to airlines in terms of emissions reduction, our industry won’t be able to hit net zero targets in the prescribed timeline,” Clark said.
The funds will be disbursed over three years and the Dubai-based airline will identify partnerships with organisations working on fuel and energy technologies, it said.
Clark said Emirates would use environmentally responsible practices until other fuel solutions were found, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) where feasible.
Global SAF production is estimated to meet just 2% of aviation fuel needs by 2025, according to airline industry group IATA.
SAF is produced in tiny quantities from feedstocks such as cooking oils and animal waste and costs two to five times more than conventional jet fuels.