A group of charities and green NGOs, led by Transport & Environment, including the likes of Greenpeace and Green Alliance, have penned a letter to the Transport Minister demanding that the aviation industry funds the mechanism that will support sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.
According to the Department for Transport’s annual National Travel Survey data, in 15 out of the past 17 years, the majority of British people did not fly, which, the charities say, demonstrates that it would be grossly unfair to expect the taxpayer to cover the costs of the scheme.
The proposed SAF revenue certainty mechanism aims to provide greater certainty to investors to drive financing and investment in future SAF production. However, it is not yet certain where the funding will come from. The letter outlines that the Treasury, and by extension the taxpayer, should not be involved at all.
Instead, the groups make three suggestions in order to adequately and equitably fund the revenue certainty mechanism; that it is funded solely by the aviation sector; that no existing or future taxes on the sector, such as Air Passenger Duty or emissions trading scheme revenues, contributes to the scheme; and that the scheme should be administered by a non-Treasury body, similar to how the Low Carbon Contracts Company operates regarding renewable energy generation.
Matt Finch, UK Policy Manager at Transport & Environment, said:
“For too long the aviation industry has been getting a free ride when it comes to environmental impact. The lack of fuel duty on jet fuel is a prime example of that. The development and production of sustainable aviation fuel is vital, but it is neither fair nor right to expect the British people – the majority of whom rarely fly – to foot the bill.”