Flight Shame ( flight shame )
“Be ashamed of flying!” It’s direct. It originated from the Swedish ‘flygscam ’ . It is an eco-friendly slogan to limit boarding on airplanes, which are considered the main culprit of greenhouse gas emissions among transportation methods. Although it is a very unfamiliar word to us, it has already begun to establish itself as a representative environmental movement in Europe. A ‘large’ means of transportation that flies in the sky. How much carbon dioxide do airplanes emit?
Comparing the carbon dioxide emissions when one passenger travels 1 km, an airplane is 285g, which is 4 times more than a bus (68g) and more than 20 times that of a train (14g). For this reason, an increasing number of people in European countries are traveling by rail instead of airplane. Some airlines, such as Dutch airline KLM , are conducting programs to link with railways on specific routes, and countries such as France and Austria are even moving to restrict air routes that overlap with railway routes.
Here is not the end. Environmental factors began to be added to limited aircraft operations. This is the emergence of eco-friendly aviation fuel.
Mandatory eco-friendly aviation fuel in Europe…
SAF ( Sustainable Aviation Fuel) up to 70% by 2050). The direct translation is sustainable aviation fuel, which is usually called bio aviation fuel or eco-friendly aviation fuel. This is also an unfamiliar word to us. This refers to aviation fuel made by fermenting fuel obtained from corn, sugar cane, and waste cooking oil, rather than the fossil fuel-based aviation fuel that is currently most widely used. It may vary depending on the ratio, but it is said that using this usually reduces the carbon emissions of an airplane by up to 80%.
In Europe, specific plans have been prepared for this year. Last April, the 27 EU member states finally agreed on a bill ( ReFuelEU ) mandating the introduction of SAF . This bill states that starting from 2025 , all aircraft taking off and landing in EU member countries must use SAF at a rate of more than 2%. This ratio increases every year and is adjusted upward to 6% in 2030, 20% in 2035, and 70% in 2050. This means that aircraft powered by raw materials that do not contain SAF in a certain ratio cannot use airports in Europe. It can neither fall nor rise. Of course, our national flag is also subject to application. The United States has decided to provide tax credits only to SAFs that blend or refuel locally in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act ( IRA ). If Europe is an eco-friendly ‘stick’, the United States is the ‘carrot’. We have just begun ‘trial operation’
Our country is at a baby level. Recently, it was decided to refuel a Korean Air cargo plane먹튀검증 operating the Incheon-Los Angeles ( LA ) route with SAF and conduct trial operations for three months. We plan to conduct a total of six test flights over three months, twice a month, refueling with aviation fuel mixed with ‘ SAF 2%’, which is the current EU standard . So where does the SAF used in this pilot operation come from? It is supplied by GS Caltex , which signed an agreement with Korean Air to demonstrate eco-friendly aviation fuel . However, it is not produced domestically. GS Caltex is supplying eco-friendly aviation fuel produced by Finland’s NESTE , the world’s largest biofuel producer, to refuel Korean Air cargo planes. This is also the first case in Korea. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced that they plan to prepare quality standards, including the SAF mixing ratio , by the first half of next year based on data obtained from this pilot operation . ‘The entire SAF must be imported’… 0 domestic production facilities Currently, Korea is in a situation where it has to import all of its SAF . According to the analysis results of the Korea Energy Economics Institute, the amount of raw materials as of 2020 is
It was found that SAF production can only produce 1.3% of aviation fuel demand in 2050. This means that everything else must be imported. In the case of Korean Air, Shell , a global energy company, has decided to receive SAF priority at airports in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions starting in 2026 . Since major international routes cannot be abandoned, airlines are taking measures on their own.
What about our SAF supply goals? According to the Korea Energy Economics Institute, the goal is to achieve 20% supply by 2050, starting with 1% in 2028. However, the commercialization facility itself currently does not exist in Korea. In the United States and European countries, there are already separate companies that produce only SAF . Representative domestic oil refineries include SK Innovation, HD Hyundai Oilbank, GS Caltex, and S-OIL . Most of them only reveal the extent of their commercialization plans. However, the SAF fueling obligation cannot be imposed only on airlines . This is because SAF is known to be more than three times more expensive than regular aviation fuel.
In peninsular countries like Korea, where the north is blocked, it is impossible to use land transportation such as railroads to get to the United States or Europe. This means that from now on, we have no choice but to take airplanes ‘even if we feel embarrassed’. In a situation where there is no alternative means of transportation, the only option we have is to adjust the rate of SAF use. This is why domestic production of SAF is urgent.
Currently, our government does not provide tax benefits or enforce the obligation to use SAF like the United States or Europe. The only statement that has been made is that the data obtained through this pilot operation will be used to establish quality standards by the first half of next year and that laws and systems will be overhauled in the future. It’s like a baby step. Economy? Is it the environment? Rather than making a binary choice, the time is already approaching when environmental factors are mandated for the economy. There isn’t much time.