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Costa Rica signs biofuel deal with KLM

AMSTERDAM: November 07, 2017. As delegates to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) meet in Bonn this week, KLM and the government of Costa Rica have agreed to determine whether the airline can operate its new twice-weekly service to San Jose using biofuel.

KLM's first demonstration flight was in 2009 with biofuel provided by its development partner SkyNRG. Since then it has operated over 1,000 flights using jet fuel produced from sustainable sources including waste streams and non-food energy crops.

The company said the joint effort with Costa Rica is aimed at increasing the production of biofuels in order to lower the price and encourage other airlines and governments to take similar steps.

KLM B787-900Airline COO René de Groot noted: "For Costa Rica, a country seeking to achieve carbon neutrality, it is very important to be the destination of KLM's first flight."

The only European carrier to operate long haul flights using biofuels, all KLM flights from Los Angeles have been partially powered with sustainable biofuel since 2012.

KLM said it could reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as 80 percent using biofuel derived from used cooking oil rather than fossil fuels. However the price is still three times that of regular jet fuel because of little demand.

"A pioneering spirit is intrinsic to KLM's DNA. This is what enables us to continuously invest in sustainable and innovative products and processes, and to open up new destinations for our customers," commented Boet Kreiken, EVP Customer Experience.

KLM last operated a direct service to San Jose in 1998 and now returns with a B787-900 that consumes less fuel and therefore emits less CO2.

As COP 23 began, the UN World Meteorological Office (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas said 2017 would end as one of the three hottest years on record.

"We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa," he said.

With the signing of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement by Nicaragua and Syria, the Trump Administration represents the only country to not be part of a global consensus on climate change.

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