Tuesday is “truth-day”: our series of posts where we use our insider expertise to unpick complex issues and challenge existing industry narratives.
🌴 This week we take a look at ‘Aviation Biofuels’.
🔥 For a deep dive on aviation biofuels, we recommend Stay Grounded‘s brilliant #Greenwash factsheet that you can find on their website: https://stay-grounded.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SG_factsheet_8-21_Biofuels_print_Lay02.pdf
🤼 In this post, we will take a look at one (amongst many) negative aspects of ‘biofuels’: the social and humanitarian impact.
Energy transition for who?
🟢 Green economy solutions often replicate predatory production models. Many times, companies involved in this energy transition disregard the role of native peoples in environmental preservation. The violence suffered by indigenous people in the north-eastern Pará region of Brazil illustrates this situation.
💀 Last week, three indigenous people of the Tembé ethnic group were shot in a new chapter of the conflict with an industry that wants to ‘plant’ jet fuel in the Amazon: https://reporterbrasil.org.br/2023/08/atentado-a-indigenas-no-pa-e-novo-capitulo-de-conflito-com-industria-que-quer-plantar-combustivel-de-aviao-na-amazonia
⚔ A violent land conflict started there three years ago when the group Brasil BioFuels (BBF) started palm production in the region. The company plans to use palm oil, also known as dendê, as a feedstock for aviation fuel. As of 2025, the objective is to supply fuel to the main national airlines.
✈ Representatives of the largest airlines in Brazil – Latam, Gol and Azul –participated in the event where the BBF’s investment in the aviation fuels sector was announced.
👩🌾 Last year, the NGO Global Witness even pointed out that multinationals in the food sector stopped purchasing palm oil from BBF after the company’s involvement in land conflicts.
🕵♂️ These issues aren’t new. Last year, Safe Landing members were involved in a project and report titled “Producing fuel for other people’s planes: A case study on the Omega Green Biofuel refinery in Paraguay” – which detailed human rights issues linked to #SAF production in the Chaco region of Paraguay, where one of the largest biofuel refineries in the world is being built: https://safe-landing.org/case-study-omega-green-biofuel-refinery-paraguay/
👀 It’s vital that we open our eyes to the reality of “SAF”. We shouldn’t promote solutions that are marketed as “green”, but actually perpetuate environmental destruction, pollution and local injustices in other parts of the world.
👩✈️ Follow Safe Landing if you’d like to help us explore the realities of “SAF” and for a weekly post on other hot topics, including: Electric Aircraft, Hydrogen Aircraft, Supersonics, eVTOL, “Net Zero” and more…