Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets and helicopters currently running on conventional fuel could use up to 50% of sustainable fuel in the future.
That means aircrafts including F-35s, Typhoons and Wildcat helicopters could be powered by hydrogenated fats and oils, wood waste, alcohols, sugars, household waste, biomass and algae, also known as ‘drop-ins’.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace made the announcement after the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) new aviation fuel standards, aimed at slashing carbon emissions, came into effect last month.
It is estimated that by substituting 30% of conventional fuel with an alternative source in a jet travelling 1,000 nautical miles, carbon emissions could be reduced by around 18%.
As aviation currently accounts for nearly two-thirds of fuel used across defence, the new standards are expected to lead to a significant reduction in emissions and improve the MOD’s carbon footprint.
Mr Wallace said: “The UK is leading the way in sustainability and by refining our aviation fuel standards we are taking simple yet effective steps to reduce the environmental footprint of defence.
“As we strive to meet this government’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, it is right that we step up to spearhead these positive changes across both military and civilian sectors.”
The Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy, setting the baseline for the defence’s emissions and carbon footprint, is due to be released later this year.