Aviation pollution targets set out in new US bill

A Sustainable Aviation Fuel Act, an innovative bill that takes a first step toward cutting the climate-harming pollution from aircraft, has been introduced in the US.
The bill, introduced by Julia Brownley (D-CA), sets clear targets for the aviation sector to cut emissions to put the sector on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The bill provides incentives for the production of high quality sustainable aviation fuels with a requirement that all these fuels, at a minimum, meet international standards.
Annie Petsonk, international counsel for Environmental Defence, said: “As airlines attempt to woo passengers back into the skies, they will need to put the climate challenge at the core of their recovery.
“Innovative, effective climate policy – like the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Act – can help the aviation industry embrace the real goal, climate-neutral flight. What makes this bill innovative is that the tax credit is keyed to the amount of climate benefit the fuels actually deliver. The bill encourages fuel developers to produce fuels that meet and beat international and US standards.”
She added: “By taking into account what happens in the whole life cycle of making these fuels – from farms and forests to what comes out of the back of the engine – and only giving incentives for fuels that actually help the environment, the bill ensures that the production of these fuels doesn’t cause more harm than good. Crucially, the bill builds on the foundation established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which sets world standards for international flights. To receive the bill’s tax incentives, sustainable aviation fuels must achieve at least a 50% reduction in emissions compared to conventional jet fuel. “We applaud Congresswoman Brownley for introducing legislation to drive innovation and demand for high quality sustainable aviation fuels that have the potential to dramatically reduce airline emissions.”

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