The potential impact on the SAF market

Recently new decisions were made in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Karlijn Arts, who started at SkyNRG as Policy & Sustainability Manager last May, shares her opinion on the potential impact of the recent decisions made under CORSIA on the SAF market. Karlijn is actively involved in the developments within the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and is the intermediate for the company’s independent Sustainability Board.

What is the impact of the recent decisions made under CORSIA for the SAF market?
It is our expectation that the recent decisions made regarding progressing ICAO’s CORSIA program will not directly influence the development of SAF on the short to middle-long term (up to 2025). Besides the fact that we have concerns regarding the sustainability criteria currently accepted, and the potential risks of the additional carbon mitigation options, the program has not really changed from an “economic incentive for SAF” point of view.
As it stands, the price of carbon under the CORSIA system will (still) not be able to bridge the premium between SAF and fossil kerosene. Carbon credits will most likely remain the economically attractive option for an airline over SAF in the coming years. It is expected that external offsetting projects will benefit from CORSIA, whereas in-house sustainability efforts will benefit from the scheme to a lesser extent. However, the fact that agreement has been reached on the Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs) and the baselining period can start is a very important achievement, also for the (longer term) developments of a market for SAF.
CORISA is unique in a sense that it has been able to commit so many states to reduce carbon emissions, in a structural way and along the same lines, for a critical global sector. This scheme is laying a basis that could very well serve as a framework for the internationally aligned introduction of SAF in an international context.