The aviation industry said it would cap emissions by 2020, based on a resolution passed at the annual meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Now the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have agreed to work with the airline industry for the next five years to develop renewable jet fuel.
This is part of the Obama Administration’s effort to promote the production of renewable fuels, which will create more jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “By producing more biofuels in America, we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the 21st century economy.”
The five year agreement with the FAA will “develop aviation fuel from forest and crop residues and other “green” feedstocks in order to decrease dependence on foreign oil and stabilize aviation fuel costs,” according to a statement.
The agencies will work together to assess the different kinds of feedstocks that could be processed to produce jet fuels.
Based on a report prepared by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), Vilsack said that by replacing oil with biofuels, we’re reducing our crude oil imports and lowering prices for energy.
To make sure the biofuels aren’t coming from crop land, Vilsack has set up the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) for new non-food, non-feed biomass crops to be worked on for future demand of renewable energy.
Farmers who are a part of BCAP could receive payments of up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing eligible perennial crops. Further, “they can receive payments for up to five years for annual or non-woody perennial crops and up to 15 years for woody perennial crops”, according to a statement.
This comes soon after a global resolution supported by 190 countries to cut aviation emissions all the way up to 2050. According to the resolution, the aviation sector would become two percent more efficient until 2020, and emissions would be capped — there onwards.
This deal would cover more than 90 percent of worldwide air traffic.
Currently, two percent of global emissions are due to aviation.
British Airways and Airbus, have also started working on projects that could power air travel from algae growing close to airports within four years.
The two companies are supporting a project at the UK’s Cranfield University to investigate ways of harvesting algae for jet fuel in commercial quantities.