By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
Boeing Looks to First Movers Coalition to Reduce Aviation Industry’s Carbon Footprint
U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the world’s second-largest civil aircraft manufacturer, will take on a new role within the First Movers Coalition (FMC) to help reduce aviation emissions faster.
The FMC was created in November 2021 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, seeking to bring to commercial scale within the next decade the right technologies to keep the planet’s temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. To do this requires low-carbon technologies that are not yet competitive with current carbon-intensive solutions, but must reach commercial scale by 2030 to achieve net zero emissions globally by 2050.
The FMC is a global initiative that harnesses corporate buying power to decarbonize seven “hard-to-burn” industries that currently account for 30% of global emissions — aluminum, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel and trucking — along with innovative carbon removal technologies.
Boeing will serve as a “champion” for the aviation sector. It will work to increase industry partnerships to expand sustainable supplies of aviation fuel while defining strategies for developing new solutions. Boeing’s “collaboration with the more than 50 member companies of the FMC (of which Boeing is a founding member) will help scale sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and accelerating low-carbon technologies to decarbonize aviation,” said Brian Moran, Boeing’s vice president for global sustainability policies and partnerships.
To pursue these goals Boeing, hired one of the leading experts in the field of SAFs, Robert Boyd, an aviation decarbonization specialist who worked for nearly nine years at the International Air Transport Association as Assistant Director of Energy Transition and Policy, Environment and Sustainability. He served as a member of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization Alternative Fuels Task Force and sat on the advisory board of the Carbon War Room and Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI). Prior to joining IATA, Boyd was the Principal Economist for Virgin Australia Airlines and co-lead of the airline’s renewable jet fuel team.
Boeing had already shown its commitment to aviation decarbonization in 2018 with the ecoDemonstrator program (the world’s first commercial flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in partnership with FedEx Express) and with its joint venture, Wisk, (soon first fully electric, self-flying aerotaxi in the U.S.).
It is worth mentioning that Boeing became a founding member of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium in February 2021, and in December of that year, it conducted a successful test with NASA and DARPA on a large, fully composite, linerless cryogenic fuel tank with the capacity to hold 16,000 gallons (over 60,500 liters) of liquid hydrogen.