RAF Fighter Jets Could Run On Sustainable Fuel Within Decades

Royal Air Force Fighter Jets Could Use Up To 50 Per Cent Sustainable Fuel In The Future Under New Plans To Cut Emissions

RAF Fighter Jets Could Run On Sustainable Fuel Within Decades
By Joanna Whitehead

Royal Air Force fighter jets could use up to 50 per cent sustainable fuel in the future under new plans to cut emissions. Algae, alcohol and household waste could all be used to power aircraft such as Typhoons, F-35s and Wildcat helicopters, according to the Minstry of Defence (MoD).

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK is “leading the way in sustainability” and that changes to the MoD’s aviation fuel standards, which came into effect in November, represent “simple yet effective steps to reduce the environmental footprint of defence.” At present, aviation currently accounts for nearly two-thirds of fuel used across the defence sector. It is hoped that adopting sustainable fuel sources known as “drop-ins” will lead to a significant reduction in emissions. These include hydrogenated fats and oils, wood waste, alcohols, sugars, household waste, biomass and algae.

Substituting 30 per cent of conventional fuels with a sustainable source in a jet travelling 1,000 nautical miles is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 18 per cent. Using “diverse and readily available materials”, such as household waste, including packaging, grass cuttings and food scraps, will also reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill. “As we strive to meet this Government’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, it is right that we step up to spearhead these positive changes across both military and civilian sectors,” said Mr Wallace. The news comes on the same day as the virtual United Nations Climate Ambition Summit is underway.

Organised by the UK, the UN and France on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, the meeting will see more than 70 world leaders speak on the issue of climate change. Heavy carbon emitters, such as Australia, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Mexico, are not taking part, however, as their climate actions were not deemed ambitious enough. “Climate change is one of the great global challenges of our age, and it is already costing lives and livelihoods the world over, our actions as leaders must be driven not by timidity or caution, but by ambition on a truly grand scale,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “That is why the UK recently led the way with a bold new commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030, and why I’m pleased to say today that the UK will end taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas as soon as possible.”

2050 target ‘too slow’ warn environmental campaigners

Environmental campaigners have criticised the Government’s 2050 target, however, saying it doesn’t go far enough and needs to be brought forward to 2030. Craig Bennett, UK chief executive of Friends of the Earth, warned it was “still too slow to address catastrophic climate change”, while Extinction Rebellion described it as a “death sentence”. Professor Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College London (UCL), told The Independent: “Britain is one of the leading countries in the fight against climate change and we must adopt a 2030 zero carbon target. “This will give us 10 years to put in place win-win solutions that reduce carbon emissions, save money and make Britain a better, cleaner place to live,” he said.

This news was originally published at I News