The UK continues its track to deliver the world’s first zero emission flight across the Atlantic within a generation following 2 progressive announcements by the Transport Secretary.
- government launches first round of £3 million Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) competition, supporting development of infrastructure required to aid electric and hydrogen aircraft such as charge points for planes
- British Airways completes first-ever net zero carbon freighter flights powered by waste materials such as cooking oil
- this comes as Jet Zero Council meet for a third time setting out a plan to put aviation at the heart of building back better and greener from the pandemic
Launching the first round of the ZEFI competition, delivered by the Connected Places Catapult – the government will award businesses and universities around the UK up to £50,000 each to pioneer critical research into infrastructure, such as charge points and hydrogen fuelling tanks, that will enable the mass uptake of electric and hydrogen aircraft.
Part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, the £3 million fund will ramp-up the move towards sustainable flying to support aviation reach net zero by 2050.
This follows on from news that members of the Jet Zero Council, British Airways (BA), this week carried out the world’s first net zero carbon freighter flights powered by a mix of sustainably sourced waste such as cooking oil. This is set to be the first of many flights with BA ordering 1.2 million litres of the fuel.
Offering emissions savings of more than 80% compared to conventional jet fuel, this marks a milestone moment putting UK aviation at the forefront of global decarbonisation efforts and forging the pathway to sustainable commercial flying in the future.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary said:
As the first major economy to commit to net zero by 2050, we’ve gone further than any country in the world to slash our aviation emissions – providing leadership, funding and the framework needed to lead the charge.
“Now is the time for organisations and companies to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided to harness the economic and environmental benefits building back better and greener has to offer.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary said:
Sourcing sustainable fuels are critical if we are to cut emissions and build a competitive future for Britain’s aviation industry.
“Funding once again shows the Jet Zero Council is driving forward our ambition to make flight cleaner and greener.”
“As we build back better from the pandemic, it is so important to see iconic companies like British Airways leading the way and sharing in our belief that decarbonising flight doesn’t just make environmental sense, but also great business sense too.”
This comes as the Jet Zero Council meets for the third time, setting out plans to put UK aviation at the heart of the UK’s pandemic recovery – building back better and greener through the uptake of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and the development of zero emission aircraft and infrastructure.
Through the work of its dedicated delivery groups and £18 million of new funding, the Council has led the global charge on the uptake and development of trailblazing SAFs.
With COP26 on the horizon, the UK hopes to showcase the progress made by encouraging delegates to fly on planes fuelled by SAF, showing just how far the collaboration between government and industry has come.
This funding, taken together with the £3 million of ZEFI funding announced means the government has provided over £20 million of new funding for the decarbonisation of the sector since the Council formed last year.