World Airlines Commit To Net Zero Carbon Emissions By 2050

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World Airlines Commit To Net Zero Carbon Emissions By 2050

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 77th Annual General Meeting approved a resolution for the global air transport industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • This commitment will align with the Paris Agreement goal for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C.
  • IATA represents 290 member airlines comprising 82 per cent of pre-pandemic global air traffic, and its pledge follows the lead of Europe's aviation industry which has embraced the European Union's emissions goals.

Challenges ahead:

  • The aviation industry must progressively reduce its emissions while accommodating the growing demand of a world that is eager to fly.
  • To be able to serve the needs of the ten billion people expected to fly in 2050, at least 1.8 gigatons of carbon must be abated in that year.
  • Moreover, the net zero commitment implies that a cumulative total of 21.2 gigatons of carbon will be abated between now and 2050.

Net zero

  • It refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.
  • The term net zero is important because – for CO2 at least – this is the state at which global warming stops.
  • The Paris Agreement underlines the need for net zero, requiring states to ‘achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century’.

The resolution demands that all industry stakeholders commit to addressing the environmental impact of their policies, products, and activities with concrete actions and clear timelines, including:

  1. Fuel-producing companies bringing large scale, cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to the market.
  2. Governments and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) eliminating inefficiencies in air traffic management and airspace infrastructure.
  3. Aircraft and engine manufacturers producing radically more efficient airframe and propulsion technologies.
  4. Airport operators providing the needed infrastructure to supply SAF, at cost, and in a cost-effective manner.

Countries announcement for net-zero targets

  1. New Zealand government
  • In 2019, they passed the Zero Carbon Act, which committed the country to zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  1. UK’s parliament
  • It passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100 per cent.
  1. US president Joe Biden announced that the country will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

  2. European Union

  • In it's plan “Fit for 55”, the European Commission has asked all of its 27 member countries to cut emissions by 55 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
  1. China has announced that it would become net-zero by the year 2060 and that it would not allow its emissions to peak beyond what they are in 2030.