Denmark Targets 2030 For Fossil Fuel-Free Domestic Flights

The Danish government yesterday announced that it has a mission to have all of its country’s domestic flights free from fossil fuels by the end of the decade. Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, shared that she wants to “make flying green.”

SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Denmark is determined to cut down flight emissions. Photo: Getty Images

New Year’s resolution

During her New Year’s address, the leader of the Social Democrats said that Denmark is looking to cut its carbon emissions by 70% against 1990 figures by the time 2030 arrives. Nonetheless, she concedes that the solutions to reach this goal have not yet been implemented.

Despite the strategy needing to be finalized, there are already ambitious initiatives in place across the aviation spectrum. For instance, Airbus shared last year that it seeks to have all its aircraft 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) compatible by 2030, the same year that Denmark chose to reach its goal.

DAT Danish Air Transport
Domestic carriers such as DAT would have been listening to the government’s address closely. Photo: Getty Images

Existing measures

Notably, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which is the flag carrier of Denmark, along with being the national carrier of Norway and Sweden, has been showing its commitment to fly more sustainably. The carrier recently partnered with Airbus to deliver green aircraft and explore sustainable sources of biofuel.

“We are actively working on reducing onboard weight and on improving and reviewing all onboard consumables, but the biggest investments are in new, modern and more energy efficient aircraft. In addition, in 2019 SAS and Airbus signed a declaration of intent to research around the development of electric aircraft,” SAS states.

“This is the first time an airline has embarked on a project with an aircraft manufacturer to introduce electric aircraft for large-scale, commercial use. The collaborations with Preem and AirBP, for example, will provide us with access to more biofuel, which emits around 80 percent less climate-impacting CO2 than fossil-based aviation fuel. The long-term objective is climate-neutral air travel.”

SAS Norwegian Getty
SAS wants all its domestic flights within Scandinavia to be powered by biofuel by 2030, fitting in line with Denmark’s target. Photo: Getty Images

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On the same page

The Nordics have generally been at the forefront of biofuel technology in recent years. For instance, Finland-based Neste has been collaborating with several key aviation powerhouses to introduce SAF across the industry. The company has developed MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, which is a drop-in solution that is readily available and already being utilized commercially.

SAS was also awarded $500 million in aid in 2020. The support was given with conditions that the airline would adapt its environmental commitments and bring them in accordance with targets of the Paris Agreement.

Overall, Denmark’s 2030 target may be cutting it close. However, with the broader aviation market and social spectrum keen to reduce emissions, we can expect the use of fossil fuels to be significantly cut down by the time the next decade arrives. Along with biofuels, electric planes and hydrogen aircraft are set to overhaul the way people fly in the coming years. We will undoubtedly see a far more sustainable aviation industry by the time Denmark’s deadline arrives.

What are your thoughts about Denmark looking to make domestic flights fossil fuel-free by 2030? Do you feel that this goal is achievable in the country? Let us know what you think of the overall initiative in the comment section.

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