Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce has announced that all products launched after 2030 will be running on zero-carbon emissions as it plans to replace fossil fuels with synthetic alternatives yet to be approved.
The move forms part of the company’s decarbonizing plans as the aviation industry faces a significant uphill struggle to cut carbon emissions. To date, there is no technology on the market able to fly passengers without producing tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Should synthetic fuels be approved for use, known in the industry as ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ (SAF), this would theoretically allow the company’s jets to serve customers through significantly less or even zero new carbon emissions.
The manufacturing giant aims to get regulatory approval by 2023 for use of SAF in all engine models in production, it said on Thursday.
The Guardian reports that this goal would see two-thirds of Rolls-Royce’s existing planes using the company’s engines potentially adapted with minimal engineering changes.
However, it has, up till now, been unable to set medium-term science-based targets, viewed as a gold standard for reduction of group-wide carbon emissions, because of uncertainty over synthetic fuel supply will grow.
The chief executive, Warren East, said Rolls-Royce faced a “double challenge”, but that decarbonising would offer a “commercial opportunity”.
“Our customers use our products and services in sectors where demand for power is increasing, and also these sectors are among the hardest to decarbonise,” he said.
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