VACANCY: PAID FGA INTERN

At FGA we are looking for 1-2 paid interns. 


FGA are climate mitigation specialists focusing on reducing emission in the travel sector. We work and co-operate with corporations, the European Commission, fuel companies, airlines, EU lobbying associations and member states to bring funding, mechanisms and awareness to the sustainable travel sector. 


We’ve recently discussed our work in the press here and also presented at the Expedia and Linkedin offices in February to corporate travellers and travel management companies discussing our role in the industry. 

Our team consists of senior researchers and business developers and we’re keen to have more support to do both. 


Ideally the person/people have a research, sustainability, energy or aviation background but willingness to contribute and work hard is the main focus and career changers are very welcome.

If you speak Portuguese this is also a bonus. We’ll be on the look out for new team members on an ongoing basis so please get in touch for an initial chat or message sarah@flygreenalliance.org with your CV and an intro message.


Thanks

The FGA Team 

Aviation Industry talks amid COVID-19 Crisis: sustainable long-term planning as the UN’s ICAO updates CORSIA – 13th March

Last Friday, 13th March, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved the eligible emission units for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

This recent CORSIA update has opened up acceptance to further carbon offsetting schemes initially in a 2021-2023 pilot phase and has excluded old credits that are unlikely to bring real emissions reduction benefits to the industry. The named schemes include:

• American Carbon Registry 

• China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program 

• Clean Development Mechanism 

• Climate Action Reserve 

• The Gold Standard 

• Verified Carbon Standard 

“At a time of extreme stress for the industry, aviation has stood by its commitment to grapple with the climate crisis even as it deals with the immediate tragedy of COVID-19. That is a demonstration of real leadership,” said the Environmental Defence Fund’s Annie Petsonk.

FGA believes this to be a positive move for the aviation sector and an important milestone which upholds environmental commitments at a difficult time. It will make funds available from outside of the industry which will make it more accessible for corporations and travellers to offset through sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This is crucial in the bid to reach the Paris Agreement on time.

The move will stimulate investment in the coming years by demonstrating that there are mechanisms to support paying the premium of SAF, and in a letter to the Commission and EU Transport Ministers this week, it was clear that long term planning was still very much in mind “Preserving airports’ economic and financial resilience so as to allow airports to return to normal operations as soon as possible and support the recovery of the wider economy. Airports act as engine of local and regional economic growth and employment. Many of them are indeed the largest employment site in their region and/or country. This means that their own standing and capabilities directly support that of their communities. In this regards, it is essential for them to preserve their long-term strategic investment – including those relating to decarbonization efforts.” Airports Council International.

As it stands SAF is 3 times as expensive and although touted as one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions in the industry, it is still unaffordable by the industry and not invested in heavily.

At this time and during the recovery phase aviation will need, and has requested, global financial support to get back on track and to hit it’s emission reduction targets. The industry and European Commission, in talks this week, are very much concentrating on long term sustainable planning for decarbonisation.

FGA are the owners of a Gold Standard approved project which demonstrates that SAF is an offset and we are creating a methodology with Trinity College Dublin in order to get SAF to market quicker. We are pleased that the mechanism can be counted towards aviation’s mission to reduce carbon globally.

If you wish to discuss how this mechanism is going to develop, would like more information on Gold Standard, offsets or sustainable travel please contact us at FGA.

FGA will be supporting aviation’s sustainable future.

CACTUS – Corporate Travellers for Climate Action event – linkedIn office – 28th Feb

In London last week we attended the Business Travel Show and presented our thought leadership at CACTUS where we met industry leaders discussing their role and seeking information on sustainability within the business travel sector. 

At The BTS we attended a seminar called ‘Travel price and risk outlook for 2020’. Here a panel consisting of Suzanne Sangiovese, Richard Johnson, Simon Antoniou and Hanne Marit Schultz discussed corona, climate change, extreme weather, big sport tournaments and that sustainability is not the cheapest option, which is true and likely to be this way for some time. The panel discussed that sustainability is a buzz word and asked how it could evolve from this to the next step, encouraging sustainability businesses to come forward with cheaper, greener solutions and for travel companies to work with consultants to think further. 

One poll at the seminar stating that 60% said the cost of travel was the major decision making factor, 12% stating sustainability. Showing there is a big way to go for sustainable aviation fuel and flying green.

Climate Action in Corporate Travel United Summit

Reducing emissions isn’t a cheap task. It was discussed at the CACTUS event that many are ‘borrowing’ carbon from other countries where it is cheaper to reduce emissions. The analogy of you needing to go on a diet and then asking someone else to stop eating chocolate for you was brought up by Professor Kevin Anderson, Climate Scientist at the University of Manchester and the Centre for Sustainability and the Environment at Uppsala University. 

FGA have been thinking about this discussion and the purpose of offsets, and we have recently been contacted by natural capital investors working in the U.K.  Investing in local land and forestry offsets will cost more but it does support local communities. This could be one way to stop ‘offshore’ offsetting. 

We believe offsets do have their benefits and can work towards investing in aviation research and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) itself. FGA are project initiators and have approval to create SAF as a carbon credit – one example being the creation of aviation fuel from waste. However, the discussion is that the carbon credit is too expensive right now, and so it has been difficult to create a favourable case for investors to fund this work even though in theory the idea that it can be counted as an offset is good. As it stands SAF is counted as an offset through CORSIA, the global aviation scheme to reduce and offset carbon, so it is accepted by the industry as an offset. We believe this piece of work and the application approval is important to demonstrate that we can create carbon credits within the aviation industry itself through Gold Standard. However, how do we create a more a favourable price for the carbon credit? Or do we need convince corporate travellers that right now the carbon credit is going to be higher?  FGA have ideas on this and will be looking for more solutions. 

We spoke to Michelle Dyer this week, Vice President, Risk & Compliance – Europe & Africa, M&A, and Sustainability of Amex Global Business Travel, who supports the creation of carbon credits from SAF itself and and the notion that SAF credits won’t be cheap in the short term, Michelle said ‘Travel buyers are interested in the role carbon offsets have to play in their greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.  SAF carbon credits would enable companies to offset air travel emissions with reductions made in the aviation industry and help drive innovation in the decarbonization of travel.’ Agreeing that SAF credit’s long term benefits has much to offer the travel industry itself. 

We ask you to join us to think about this, to think about your travel policies and to mitigate for your future risk.

Fly Green Alliance was set up because through an alliance we can shift this industry in to commercial viability and begin to fly green.

Debate on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Europe

Held on 4th February, 2020 at EU Parliament in Brussels.

This past Tuesday, February 4, FGA were invited to attend a debate about ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the EU’. The event was hosted by the Airport Regions Council (ARC) and held at the EU Parliament Building in Brussels. The debate marked the final installation of a series of discussions that have taken place over the last year. The event was organised by the joint effort of the EU Commission, SENASA, ARC, Flightpath, and ARTFuels. Many important industry stakeholders were in attendance, including IATA, EUROCONTROL, KLM, and SkyNRG, just to name a few.

The meeting was an opportunity for DG representatives to highlight active projects that are strongly aligned with the EU’s recently announced new Green Deal. LeCompte, a member of DG MOVE, stated it is a high priority ‘to reduce emission transmissions’, but ‘not completely reduce the benefits of connectivity’ that aviation travel has provided Europeans. He mentioned that a ‘smart and sustainable strategy’ will be coming online later this year, which will include initiatives for alternative fuel, both production and supply. Though, the focus of the debate was SAF, there was acknowledgement that other transport modes are in demand of alternative fuels as well, namely road and rail. In addition, there was reference to a few upcoming SAF refinement plants and suppliers, whose facilities should be going into construction in the near future, public announcements would be made by private and public entities later this year.

Two very interesting discussion points noted were: (1) Member States interest and request for blended mandates, many believe these are critical to push this initiative forward at a faster pace and to ensure more investor confidence in the industry, and (2) being mindful of the time it will take to scale-up other approved ASTM pathways, prior to enforcing mandates, so that no additional pressure and demand is placed on the HEFA pathway (which needs to be predominantly phased-out by 2030 per RED II).

Lastly, Robert Boyd, of IATA, posed the question to the group: does ‘CORSIA or RED II have more impact in the EU?’, to which he stated CORSIA, though a carbon-offsetting mandate, ‘accelerated airline awareness’. Which many would argue was an important step prior to unveiling RED II because CORSIA does require the aviation industry to monitor and report on their emissions yearly; the first step towards making data-driven strategic decarbonisation decisions. Raising awareness is a large portion of FGA’s mission because we believe SAF will have a crucial role to play in decarbonising the aviation industry and work on this has commenced, beginning with speaking to corporate travellers about its scope and potential for reducing emissions in the sector.

Overall, this information is very much in-line with what FGA has been focusing on as we continue to investigate the most sustainable ASTM pathways for creating SAF and helping to solve the funding strategies needed to make these pathways commercialised, thereby financially accessible for airlines. We hope you will stay connected with us as we continue to follow this discussion and closely monitor what measures are being taken in Brussels and around the EU.

Traveldoo & The British Travel Association presents ‘Planet Plan Sustainability Conference’

Held on 4th February 2020, at Expedia’s office, London.

This week we were part of a timely gathering of travel management companies, airlines, train companies and corporate travel buyers all interested and ready to make changes to reduce emissions in the industry. The agenda put together by Sam Cande of Traveldoo was very well received, developed interesting debate and opened up the floor to many questions.

Flying was certainly on the agenda with one panel dedicated to whether airlines can achieve net zero by 2050. Lufthansa, easyJet and FGA were asked questions, by Clive Warren of The British Travel Association, on technology, investment and about the need to fly less?

We discussed that, our work at FGA, also expands to looking into remote working, policy and carbon offsets and that we don’t see that there is just one solution. Sarah, founder of FGA discussed their involvement in a project with The Port at CERN which explores these factors further; the project just being shortlisted for a circular economy startup competition through the Impact Hub Zurich. Research being at the core of FGAs work.

It was acknowledged that the aviation industry states: fleet update, more efficient air traffic management and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as being the 3 main decarbonisation factors in the short to medium term. We discussed the definition of short term, being at least 5-10 years, and that scale up of SAF/carbon neutral won’t happen overnight due to funding not being there right now, nor the customers. easyJet and Lufthansa stating that SAF is too expensive for them to purchase and that aviation is such a price sensitive sector. This is agreed in the industry which is why we need to increase supply of SAF and encourage demand to bring prices down; as with all new innovations the price starts high and reduces over time. Creative solutions need to be found and much work on finding those initial early adopters is needed.

easyJet discussed that electric planes (eviation) are their go-to decarbonisation solution for 2030 due to their focus on short haul flights.

FGA brought up that there will be conscious customers and an audience willing to pay to fly sustainably in the future. Work has started by many in the industry to build this new customer base including companies such as SkyNRG, KLM, Neste, Fulcrum Bioenergy and Gevo.

FGA are building awareness for the industry and will be part of the line up at the next CACTUS meeting, a group set up for climate action in the corporate traveller group, and will be held at the Microsoft office in London 28th February.

The event happened just as the UK Government releases their 2050 decarbonisation plan for aviation.

There was great turn out this week and big a realisation that there is much to work on the energy transition in the travel industry. See the event on linkedIn here and here.

Which market mechanisms will see the SAF industry take off?

Last July FGA spoke to Giles Dickson, CEO of Wind Europe, on the advice of a European Commission energy specialist.

Giles talked through the mechanisms Wind Europe used in their role as the association building the renewable electricity industry from wind.

Giles discussed that PPAs (power purchase agreements) were put in place with high-profile customers such as Facebook, ebay and google which demonstrated low risk to investors. This gave the capital investors the green light to be able to put the financial structures and contractual agreements in place and move funding toward the industry, providing finance to build the wind farms. In time governmental tendering encouraged companies to compete on pricing and it was this combined strategy which lead to electricity prices from wind reduce by 5 times over 10 years, and deliver affordable renewable electricity for businesses and households.

Onshore wind: 10 years ago: €150-200/mwh; today: €35-60/mwh

Offshore wind: 10 years ago: €250-300/mwh; today: €50-85/mwh

SAF is currently 3 times the price of fossil fuels. A plant can take up to 2 years to build; financial structuring and partner development can also take just as long. This gives us a basis for estimations on the time it will take to rollout further plants in this early stage industry.

IATA created an infographic video showing what is needed from a volume and commitment perspective to create carbon neutral growth from 2020 in avaition.

It is going to involve time and a lot of complex work including policy changes, mandating, awareness building and business development to see this industry take off.

At FGA, we are working on this and are partnering with key stakeholders to deliver the energy transition in aviation.

If you would like to find out more about how you can play a role as an individual or business then contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org