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Etihad Airways And World Energy Partner To Demonstrate The Future Of Net-Zero Aviation

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, and World Energy, a producer of carbon-net-zero solutions, signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to form a long-term strategic relationship to decarbonize flights through in-sector reducing emissions. Etihad is the first commercial airline to join World Energy’s freshly developed service for airline and business climate leaders committed to achieving net-zero goals.

Gene Gebolys, CEO of World Energy, says, “We are making long-term commitments with leaders to decarbonize transport. Our work with Etihad is strategic and rooted in purpose. It will drive innovation and accountability to scale sustainable fuels and make a real and impactful reduction toward effectively decarbonizing aviation.”

The announcement follows the two firms using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to power the first net-zero trip using a Book & Claim system. This is done by replacing about 26,000 gallons of petroleum-based jet fuel at Los Angeles International Airport with net-zero equivalent gallons of World Energy’s SAF (LAX). Consequently, about 250 metric tons of carbon were avoided due to Etihad’s normal route flight from Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi during COP27.

Mariam Alqubaisi, Head of Sustainability & Business Excellence of Etihad Airways, adds, “Our NetZero flight proved Book & Claim is the only feasible path to net-zero commercial aviation using current technology and is the transition framework required until the supply of sustainable aviation fuel reaches its maturity and availability. Net-zero commercial aviation is possible, but we have to be honest as an industry and say there are significant logistical challenges to using SAF at present.

“We are committed to using actual SAF on our flights from the U.S. and across the world when we can secure a sustainable and efficient supply at the airports we serve.”

The Book & Claim MOU between Etihad and World Energy formalizes the two firms’ upcoming deal, which is the first long-term contract of its sort to offer an airline with the environmental qualities associated with SAF generated in Los Angeles, California.

World Energy, in collaboration with logistical partners, will bring the physical SAF to LAX, where it will replace traditional fossil fuel used by planes departing from the airport. After World Energy mixes the SAF and receives ‘drop-in’ ASTM certification, Etihad will receive the emission savings in the form of SAF certificates (SAFc). In turn, Etihad will be allowed to put their customers on the certificates, allowing those customers to reduce emissions associated with business travel. An auditor will independently verify the physical SAF delivery and the SAFc ownership transfer.

“We are committed to making good our commitment to sustainable aviation. Our Greenliner and Sustainabile50 partnership programmes continue to test and refine our roadmap to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and halving net emission levels by 2035.”

The Book & Claim system is an economical way to reduce carbon emissions in aviation and make substantial progress toward climate goals. The group that designed this system, RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials), is working with Etihad and World Energy to include this flight as part of the RSB Book & Claim Manual testing as an official ‘pilot.’ All steps will follow the RSB draft instructions, including third-party verification.

All stakeholders see Book & Claim as a vital option to unlock corporate-end clients prepared to spend resources and boost SAF demand beyond what airlines alone can profitably provide. SAF is already acknowledged as an acceptable intervention to reduce aircraft emissions by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The RSB Book & Claim System will demonstrate to voluntary greenhouse gas accounting authorities that the purchase of SAF through Book & Claim can be made in a robust and credible manner that considerably speeds up fossil displacement and sectoral decarbonization.

The NetZero flight is the latest in a series of ‘EcoFlight’ tests since Etihad launched its Greenliner programme in 2020, each testing and proving a series of concepts.



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