Decarbonizing aviation: Cleared for take-off

An industry perspective

Decarbonization has become a global imperative and a priority for governments, companies, and society at large. This report is the third in a series by Deloitte and Shell, exploring the decarbonization of harder-to-abate sectors. This research outlines the current state of the aviation sector, identifies the barriers to decarbonization readiness, and proposes solutions and a flight plan to accelerate decarbonization in the sector.

Decarbonization readiness: Where are we today?

Decarbonization readiness: Where are we today?

90% of research respondents prioritized the decarbonization of aviation but there are significant barriers. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is up to two to eight times more expensive than traditional jet fuel, there is a lack of clarity and alignment across government and regulatory bodies regarding emission reduction targets, and many within the aviation industry are skeptical about the role of carbon offsets in helping mitigate emissions while SAF and other measures come to scale.

The research suggests clear strategies for overcoming these barriers. With collaboration across the industry, innovation and ambition, these strategies will significantly reduce aviation’s net emissions. Faster production, supply and use of SAF is crucial − hence, the need for incentives from Governments and regulators. Banks and other financial institutions should be encouraged to provide funding for SAF production and purchase as part of their environmental, social and governance commitments.

“Aviation is fundamental to the world economy and to connecting people. While the pathway to decarbonize the sector is clear, it should be more ambitious and efforts should be front-loaded. Collaboration between ecosystem players in the sector, and more importantly across sectors, is essential to scale up demand and production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Working with more than 100 executives and experts around the world we defined 15 recommendations for action, which when integrated, would systematically decarbonize the sector”

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Susan Cattozzo

Principal | Oil, Gas & Chemicals

Geoff Tuff

Principal | Deloitte Consulting LLP