Safe Landing comment on use of “SAF” for Formula E

24 May, 2024

📰 Safe Landing were featured in this article by Vitas Carosella in Forbes, about the use of “SAF” by the Formula E electric motorsport competition.

🚗 Formula E just trialed its first use of so-called “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” (SAF) in collaboration with its logistics partner DHL.

✈️ Three DHL planes using SAF transported all race materials from Berlin to Shanghai, a more than 6,000-mile trip.

👩‍✈️ According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the use of SAF helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

👨‍✈️ However, not all experts agree on SAFs perceived benefits. Finlay Asher, a mechanical engineer and member of Safe Landing — a group of aviation workers challenging the industry to conform with climate science — says the use of SAF is not scalable and that our resources should be put to better use to effectively combat climate change.

👩‍🔧 Julia Pallé, Formula E’s VP of Sustainability said “Together we continue to innovate and redefine sustainable mobility, ensuring we maintain our position as the world’s most sustainable sport.” She also said: “This initial pilot of transporting all team and championship freight via SAF is at the cutting edge in world motorsport and never been done before by a series from race to race, so we’re incredibly proud to have achieved this already. It is a first of its kind. SAF is a great mechanism to reduce our freight and overall CO2 emissions”

⛽ Despite making up a minimal percentage (0.1%) of total jet fuel currently in use, there are reasons to be wary of an over-reliance on SAF. Finlay Asher says: “SAF is very much a delaying tactic by the fossil fuel industry and the aviation industry,” noting that the only way to truly curb emissions from aviation is to decrease air travel demand. He reckons that the best way to do this is to use carbon pricing and create carbon budgets that disincentivize routine travel and long-haul travel.

🗣️ Camille Mutrelle, Aviation Policy Officer at Transport and Environment agrees. She says “The most feasible way to approach net-zero is curbing demand.” She added, “One significant lever is cutting business travel demand,

👉 Read our detailed position on “SAF” which we prefer to call “Alternative Jet Fuel” here: https://safe-landing.org/saf-position

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