Toespraak minister Van Nieuwenhuizen bij High Level Conference on Synthetic Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Toespraak van minister Van Nieuwenhuizen tijdens de High Level Conference on Synthetic Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) op 8 februari 2021. De tekst is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.
Esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, Ms Kramer,
On 1 September last year, a scale model of the Flying V successfully completed its first test flight. The Flying V is a new kind of aircraft with a revolutionary design that uses 20 per cent less fuel.
That gives us hope.
Because we need to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. Aviation is responsible for 2 to 3 per cent of anthropogenic carbon emissions worldwide.
We’re building lighter aircraft, we’re improving aerodynamics. We’re working non-stop to improve the performance of jet engines.
But what if we can make fuel itself sustainable?
Today we’re opening another chapter in the story of aviation. And I’m very pleased and proud to tell you that.It’s the story we need today. A hopeful story.
In the coronavirus pandemic, air travel has practically come to a standstill. Many people have lost their jobs. Airlines and airports – vital organs of the global economy – have run into extremely heavy weather. It will take years before the aviation sector is operating on the same level as before.
Because aviation isn’t just a symbol of our global connectedness. It is the actual connection! Between ourselves and our families, between ourselves and our work.
Progress is not a return to the ‘old normal’. Together we face the challenge of making aviation sustainable. The goal is clear. Ultimately, aviation will need to achieve zero carbon emissions.
Biofuels are currently producing some – though limited – environmental benefits for aviation.
Synthetic kerosene will be the next step. This innovation will play a crucial role in coming decades in reducing carbon emissions from aviation.
But synthetic kerosene doesn’t only mean fewer carbon emissions. It contains no sulphur or aromatics, so it will also lead to a substantial reduction in fine particulate matter. With the right – sustainable – production methods, the environmental benefits will be substantial.
We can now see that it’s feasible, that it works. A direct, effective measure developed and delivered at the request of the aviation sector itself. A major contribution to speeding up the energy transition in aviation.
And now we face the next challenge: to scale up this innovation, and take the sustainability in the sector to the next level. The Netherlands is taking the lead. We have robust chemical and manufacturing industries, the right knowledge partners and the necessary infrastructure – like pipelines, maritime ports, airports and our national airline, KLM.
European cooperation is the key to international and shared success. Commissioner Frans Timmermans’ European Green Deal bursts with ambition. The Dutch ambition is flying with 14 per cent sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
We all have our part to play in working towards sustainable aviation. Petrochemicals and other industries, airlines and airports, EU member states, and countries around the world.
And companies and travellers too.
The short video you’re about to see recorded the first commercial flight with synthetic kerosene in the aircraft’s fuel tank. Together, we’ve opted for a green future. And the future has begun.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we celebrate a small step forward in a major programme that we’re going to shape together.
And now let’s get to work. We’ve got a lot to discuss.
Thank you, everyone, for being here – online – today.