Emirates airline has announced a $200 million sustainability R&D fund aimed to reduce the impact of fossil fuels in aviation.

According to Emirates, it is the biggest single commitment by any airline for sustainability, with funds to be disbursed over three years. The airline will identify partnerships with leading organisations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.

The airline’s president Sir Tim Clark, said: “We are ring-fencing $200 million to invest in advanced fuel and energy solutions for aviation, which is where airlines currently face the biggest impediment in reducing our environmental impact.

“We looked long and hard at the reality we face in commercial aircraft and engine technology, fuel supply chain, and our industry’s regulatory and eco-system requirements. It’s clear that with the current pathways available to airlines in terms of emissions reduction, our industry won’t be able to hit net zero targets in the prescribed timeline.”

He added that the fund is earmarked for R & D, not for operating costs such as buying sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) or carbon offsetting.

Emirates’ Environmental Sustainability Executive Steering Group will oversee disbursements from the fund, with support from technical experts, a statement from the airline added.