At least, an agreement on SAF was signed during the COP28


At the climate conference, which ended on December 12, 2023, around a hundred countries have proposed a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions from aviation by 2030, based on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

As Reuters reports, the initial proposal was to reduce emissions by between 5% and 8%. The lower range was therefore chosen. Nonetheless, the United States sees this as a “clear signal” to the financial community to invest in new projects. As for China, India and Russia, they have expressed reservations.

With the aviation sector accounting for 2 to 3% of CO2 emissions, SAFs (sustainable aviation fuels) are constituting an interesting alternative. However, they currently account for only 1% of volumes.

A forum dedicated to these fuels

In a way, SAF made their mark at COP28. Before the event, German airline Lufthansa developed a sustainable flight offer for passengers travelling to the World Climate Conference in Dubai. From Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, a special fare was offered with Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. It offset 100% of the CO2 emissions linked to the passengers’ flights, using SAF. This offer lasted during the whole COP28, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from 30 November to 12 December.

The issue of e-fuels was also discussed at a Global Sustainable Aviation Forum on 6 December. You can watch the video of the event here. A “Fireside chat” (a more informal discussion) focused on the role of hydrogen.

Methanol-based SAF

And, as we have already written (read our article), the first test flight to demonstrate the potential for converting methanol into SAF took place in Dubai on the sidelines of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates. It involved Masdar, TotalEnergies, the UAE Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus, Falcon Aviation Services and technology licensor Axens. It was an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of methanol in the so-called ATJ-SPK* process. The solution could make it possible to produce eSAF, an essential lever in meeting the global challenge of producing sustainable air fuel and decarbonising the aviation sector.

Masdar already has an agreement on SAF with Airbus.

*ATJ-SPK: Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

If you liked it, share it

About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

Our latest articles

interactive world map