Sustainable aviation fuels

Kerosene and kerosene-like fuels will still be needed to operate large aircraft over the coming decades. To reduce rather than just stabilise fossil CO2 emissions, more fossil-free fuels need to be produced.


International civil aviation currently accounts for 2% to 2.5% of global CO2 emissions caused by human activities. With global passenger numbers forecast to increase by 5% by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions generated by aviation are also set to rise. To stabilise this increase long-term, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is aiming to achieve CO2-neutral growth from 2020.

Sustainable aviation fuels

The commercial use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) will make a major contribution to achieving stabilisation and reduction targets. Depending on the raw material and production processes used, the fossil CO2 savings that can be achieved by using SAFs stands at up to 80% compared with conventional kerosene from fossil sources. If CO2 from the atmosphere and water are used as kerosene components and if only renewable energy is utilised in the production process, almost completely CO2-neutral fuel can be produced.

Unless there are major advances in technology, kerosene and kerosene-like fuels will still be required to operate large aircraft long term. This is why the key to fossil-free aviation is fossil-free fuel production.


The use of sustainable aviation fuels can be included amongst economic measures; a factsheet outlines the requirements which have to be met.

Further Information

Last modification 19.06.2024

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