Our stance on net zero ambitions following UK Prime Minister’s green policy shift

As you are probably already aware, UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has announced a major shift on green policies after stating that net zero targets should be reached in a fair, proportionate and pragmatic way. Consequently, this news has acted as a catalyst for debate on the feasibility of the nation’s climate targets and whether or not we are doing enough as a collective to reduce carbon emissions. While Sunak insists that he is still determined to hit net zero, his advisors have criticised him for ‘wishful thinking’. 

We remain clear on our stance that if Government commitment to Net Zero falters, others – organisations and individuals – must voluntarily take up the slack. Despite the UK government’s abating position on environmental policy, the aviation sector must play its part in delivering the nation’s net zero commitment whilst supporting a variety of technologies, fuels, and market-based measures to address aviation emissions.  

In June of this year, we launched a PR campaign urging the commercial airline industry to replicate our ‘Pay Here, Use There’ Sustainable Aviation Fuel solution, after our blueprint evidenced that a significant cohort of flyers want to take responsibility for their own carbon emissions – and will pay more – if offered a credible and transparent solution. Innovative models, like the ‘Pay Here, Use There’ blueprint we have developed, enable organisations and individuals to voluntarily purchase SAF. Importantly, any voluntary SAF purchased on our platform is additional and reduces the emphasis on top-down Government plans which may or may not be imposed. It goes without saying, we must achieve Net Zero regardless. 

Unlike other technologies that are still at least a decade away from commercialisation, SAF is available to use today. Not only is it environmentally friendly – reducing carbon emissions by up to 80% – but it is also safe and does not require any changes to existing aircraft to use it. As a matter of fact, over 500,000 commercial flights have already used SAF since 2016. It’s also a ‘drop-in’ fuel, which means it can be used in the existing aviation infrastructure without requiring any additional investment. In other words, this is a solution that is available now

Victor Co-CEO, Toby Edwards states, “Rishi Sunak’s decision to shift green policies and move the goal posts on carbon reduction was inevitable given the current climate. It exemplifies why in terms of reaching net zero aviation, we have been advocating for airlines and travel agents to allow their customers to make voluntary sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) purchases rather than relying on policy. Flyers – inherently wealthy and big polluters – voluntarily paying for their footprint via credible SAF purchases is fairer than taxing everybody.” 

The debate surrounding aviation’s carbon emissions will, undoubtedly, return under the media spotlight once again at COP28, commencing on 30th Nov 2023 in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The mainstream media’s stance on the irony of hundreds of private jets being used to transport delegates to debate on climate change is unlikely to change. However, what we can do, as an industry, is recognise that while the private jet industry cannot simply be ‘shut off’, there is still a need to do all that we can to champion the adoption of more sustainable solutions.  

It’s important that we take responsibility for our client’s emissions by driving awareness of SAF and proving voluntary SAF demand exists. ‘Pay Here, Use There’ voluntary models like ours have the potential to enable SAF production to scale and transition away from fossil fuel at a far faster pace than existing predictions – thanks to the additionality they create. If such demand exists, supply will accelerate.  

We offer MY Neste Sustainable Aviation Fuel because; 

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the next generation of aviation fuel made from 100% renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil.  
  • SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel – over the full lifecycle of the fuel. 
  • Neste is the world’s leading producer of SAF – by the end of 2023 they will have capacity of 1.5 million tons per annum – more than the upcoming EU 2% SAF mandate by 2025 that would equate to 1.2 million tons. 
  • The CO2e reduction is in-sector, meaning the emission reduction is staying in aviation. 
  • The CO2e reduction occurs over a short time, with the certified emission reduction taking place no more than a few weeks after the booking is complete. 
  • There is a clear chain of custody. 
  • SAF helps to keep fossil fuels underground where they belong. 

Using our platform, we will continue to raise awareness on the benefits of SAF. If electric or hydrogen aircraft become available commercially then we will likely make them available to charter – although we know that this will not be for some time. For the industry, the need to unlock new raw materials such as algae and power to liquid fuels to increase SAF production is important, but now it’s vital we use the renewable waste and residue raw materials that are currently available rather than just wait. The planet cannot afford for the private sector to await the perfect solution. 

For this reason, we continue to urge commercial airlines and travel agents to replicate our model, advocating the use of SAF as an option during the check-out process for all bookings. 1 in 5 Victor customers are voluntarily buying c.£968 of Neste MY SAF™ for their private jet charter bookings. These important SAF contributions provide an average emission reduction of 1.5 tonnes per booking. 

For further information about Sustainable Aviation Fuel please see our ‘SAF Explainer’ which provides responses to the frequently asked questions our team encounters on a daily basis.