Denmark’s flag carrier, Scandinavian Airlines, is now set to get a whole lot greener
In her New Year’s address, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announces ambitious plans to “take the lead and raise the bar even more” in regard to sustainable flying.
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed a much-needed break and are as happy as I am to leave ‘the-year-that-shall-not-be-named’ behind us. With that forward-looking mentality, I bet a few of you are earnestly sticking to your new year’s resolutions – although how long that will last is anyone’s guess! For the small minority who manage to keep up that effort, you’ll be joining a group of people with iron determination, who now include the entire Danish government as part of their ranks. In a stirring New Year’s speech, the country’s prime minister stated her wish to “make flying green” with plans to utilise sustainable aviation fuels on domestic flights no later than 2025. Adding to this, Frederikson announced the intention to boost investment into green tech, which could include adopting hydrogen-fuelled aircraft – some of which are said to be operational from manufacturer Airbus by 2035. These measures would complement the ‘0 fossil fuels by 2030’ target Frederiksen has set for the country. By far the most ambitious sustainable flying pledge set by any country to date, Denmark is apparently keen to lead by example in overhauling the fossil-fuel-dependent global aviation industry and speed up the development of a cleaner, greener global flight economy.
If the Nordic country can stick to its ambitious New Year’s resolution, it’ll be putting itself on track to achieve its overall climate targets. These include a 70% reduction of overall emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030, with complete emission neutrality achieved by 2050. I don’t know about you, but I think a few world leaders could learn a thing or two from some of Denmark’s maverick plans to reach its targets. With climate change speeding up (it’s 11 degrees Celsius in January here in the UK!), reaching net emission neutrality as fast as possible should, in my opinion, be top of the priority list for every country on this planet. With 12% of all transport-based emissions coming from the aviation industry, it does seem like a good place to start in the push towards a greener world. Despite all this ambition, however, Frederiksen has still acknowledged that achieving such ambitious goals is going to be an uphill struggle, with the scientific solutions needed to put a dent in the country’s emissions still being developed.
On that note, start-ups like Vertical Aerospace and Faradair could prove to be the answer countries like Denmark need, with the development of their respective renewable energy fuelled craft. Faradair in particular have already developed a working hybrid-electric craft with an 18-person capacity, an interesting development in the space which readers may remember we reported on last year. On top of that, green hydrogen and SAF production has started to ramp up, driven by investment from oil companies looking to future-proof their assets. The increased supply of these fuels will drive their costs down, and as such make adopting them more economically viable by countries and corporations alike. All in all, it’s an ambitious New Year’s resolution. For the sake of the climate, and our rapidly ‘greenifying’ industry, however, it’s one I hope Denmark can stick to, and prove to the rest of the world that it can be done.