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Denmark’s new year resolution: aims to remove fossil fuel based flights by 2030.

Denmark's government has established a goal of removing domestic flights that are fossil fuel-based by 2030. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, in her New Year's message, stated that she wanted to "make flying green."

Resolutions for the New Year

Denmark's Social Democratic leader, during her New Year's message, stated that by 2030, Denmark aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70% compared to 1990 levels. Despite this,  the Prime Minister concedes that the measures to achieve this objective are yet to be applied.Even though the strategy is still being completed, ambitious activities are currently underway across the aircraft sector. For example, Airbus announced last year that it aims to have all of its aircraft fully compatible with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by 2030, the same time that Denmark has set its goal.

Existing strategies:

In particular, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden has taken steps to provide their passengers with a more sustainable flying experience. The airline recently teamed with Airbus to provide sustainable planes and investigate long-term biofuel sources. "We're trying to minimize onboard weight and increase and review all onboard supplies, but our massive investments are in new, more contemporary, and energy-efficient aircraft". In addition, According to SAS, both SAS and Airbus signed a letter of intent to research in 2019 to collaborate on the production of power aircraft".

A large, commercial-scale electric aircraft will be introduced with an airline in conjunction with an aircraft manufacturer.  For instance, collaborations with Preem and AirBP will allow us to obtain more ethanol, which emits 80% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. The ultimate goal is to create carbon-neutral air travel.

In the past few years, the Nordics were at the frontline of biofuel technology. Neste, established in Finland, has been working with several major aviation companies to offer SAF to the sector. MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, developed by the firm, is a plug-and-play solution that is easily available and currently in practical use. In addition, SAS has received $500 million in subsidies in 2020. The assistance was granted on the provision that the airline modifies its environmental pledges to align with the Paris Agreement's aims. 

Airbus hopes to have functional hydrogen-fueled planes, by 2035:

A target has been set by Airbus SE for its development of a hydrogen-powered plane, by 2035. According to Guillaume Faury, the company's chief executive officer, short and medium-range planes will likely be introduced first. Nevertheless, the company has informed EU officials that hydrogen-powered aircraft catering to more than 150 passengers will not appear on the scene until 2050.

Boeing is investing in the development of sustainably powered aircraft by the year 2050:

According to Boeing, Airbus' prediction of being able to create a sustainable airplane by 2035 is doubtful. It estimates that achieving the goal will take until 2050. Through cooperation with SkyNRG, the company has invested in increasing the manufacture of sustainable aircraft fuels. The Dutch company is commencing operations in North America, having already signed a partnership with Alaska Airlines. Given that electric aircraft, such as the 19 seat jets that United Airlines and Mesa are investing in, can only fly small distances, it is up to Boeing and Airbus to make their 737 and A320 substitutes more environmentally friendly.

Conclusion :

Denmark's 2030 goal may be slightly too ambitious. However, with the wider aviation sector and societal spectrum eager to limit emissions, we can expect fossil fuel use to be greatly reduced over the following decade. Electric planes and hydrogen airplanes, along with biofuels, are expected to revolutionize the way planes fly in the next few years. By the time Denmark's deadline approaches, the aviation sector will be substantially more sustainable.

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