Qantas passenger plane refueling.

As part of its $400 million climate fund, Qantas Group is supporting emission reduction projects, and calling for a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandate. 

The Qantas Climate Fund, announced 30 May, will be the largest aviation fund of its kind in the world. The fund will target direct investment in technologies and projects, investment in managed sustainability funds that align closely to the airline’s targets, and research and development partnerships.

The fund includes the ~$290 million partnership established last year between Qantas and Airbus to accelerate a domestic SAF industry in Australia and an additional $110 million from Qantas for other environmental projects such as high-integrity carbon offsets, offshore SAF investments, and operational efficiency technologies.

SAF is the most significant tool airlines currently have to reduce their emissions, particularly given it can be used in today’s engines and fuel delivery infrastructure with no modifications. 

To help kickstart local production of SAF, Qantas Group is calling for the Australian Government to introduce a SAF blending mandate as part of a broader framework of industry policies, similar to those already announced in other jurisdictions. The UK, Europe and Japan have set or proposed mandates of between five and ten per cent to be reached by the end of the decade and the US has set a 2030 production target of three billion gallons per year.

Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Andrew Parker, said, “Managing climate change is now built into how we do business and is a key part of our strategy through to 2030 and beyond.

“We have already made progress towards our interim climate targets with sustainable aviation fuel powering our flights out of London, more fuel-efficient aircraft arriving every month and a mature carbon offset program.

“We’re backing our targets with an expanded investment of up to $400 million to help projects get off the ground, because it’s new technologies and bringing proven solutions to scale that will deliver the emissions reductions we need, and protect the future of travel in the process.

“Without the right policy settings and signals we will see investment, projects and feedstocks move offshore to places with specific policy support. We look forward to working with the government and the rest of the industry to ensure we capitalise on this opportunity for Australia.”

The airline has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 (based on 2019 levels) and ten per cent use of SAF in the Group’s fuel mix by 2030 as it moves towards net zero emissions by 2050.

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