Historic blockchain auction takes flight in SATAVIA and ACX $9bn play
Cambridge aviation CleanTech business SATAVIA and global gamechanger AirCarbon Exchange (ACX) this week embarked on an historic partnership, combining world-leading technology with pioneering commodities infrastructure to support trading of carbon credits generated by SATAVIA’s unique contrail prevention technology.
Aircraft-generated condensation trails, or contrails, account for up to 60 per cent of aviation’s climate impact – almost double that of direct CO2 emissions from aircraft engines.
Until recently, scientific and technical challenges made contrail prevention difficult or impossible. SATAVIA’s best-in-class atmospheric modelling now enables operators to optimise flight plans for contrail prevention, subsequently converting achieved climate benefit into tradable carbon credits in a new market worth up to $9 billion at current pricing.
The ACX trade has been monetising contrail prevention activity carried out with SATAVIA’s commercial partner Etihad Airways this week – leading up to a major auction in the near future on a date to be finalised – with SATAVIA collaborating with Etihad to optimise multiple flight plans for contrail prevention.
ACX managing director and co-founder, William Pazos said: “We are delighted to work with SATAVIA on this world-first trade. Our ground-breaking blockchain architecture is a great fit with SATAVIA’s disruptive tech-led innovation and I look forward to supporting greener aviation with further trades in the months and years to come.”
While most green aviation initiatives focus on hardware upgrades with year- or decade-long timeframes, SATAVIA’s DECISIONX:NETZERO platform is a software solution with immediate applicability and near-term returns. By engaging in contrail prevention activity, eco-conscious operators like Etihad will now be able to generate commercial returns from climate-friendly operations, helping to support commercially sustainable green aviation.
SATAVIA CEO, Adam Durant said: “Credits are already available to offset aviation’s direct CO2 emissions, but direct emissions only account for about a third of the sector’s climate impact.
“Generating tradable credits for indirect impacts arising from aircraft contrails is a big step forward in attempts to decarbonise aviation as a sector, creating commercial incentives for operators to enable smarter, greener flying.”
Scientific research suggests that aircraft contrails generate up to 1.8 billion tonnes of CO2e each year (2019 flight numbers), equivalent to two per cent of all human impact. This equates to a new carbon market worth $9bn at current nominal voluntary carbon pricing, forecast to rise tenfold by 2030.
Pazos added: “Low-hanging fruit of this magnitude doesn’t come along very often. ACX is proud to support SATAVIA’s world-leading green aviation activity, enabling necessary flight operations while simultaneously protecting the planet.”