We want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of air travel. But we accept that there is an environmental impact of aviation, which we want to reduce.
We work with stakeholders across the air transport industry towards an ambitious goal: net-zero carbon by 2050.
New technologies have an important role: more efficient and lighter planes as well as sustainable aviation fuels will eventually help cut emissions by 80%. We also campaign to optimize air routes and avoid congestion around airports, obliging aircraft to stay in the air until a landing slot is available. And we help airlines manage their environmental impact by reducing noise and waste.
And finally, we support offsetting, a system that allows a company to compensate for its emissions by financing a reduction in emissions elsewhere. Currently, airplanes have no choice but to use liquid fuels. But through offsetting, we can pay for emissions to be reduced in other parts of the economy.
Do you want to know more about how airlines address environmental challenges? See our Environment section. And check out the frequently asked questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
I want to do my bit for a sustainable future. Should I fly less?
Aviation accounts for 2% of global carbon emissions, but supports 3.5% of global GDP and 63 million jobs. So the question is, would stopping flying be the best way to reduce emissions, while safeguarding our way of life? Everyone has to make their own choice. As an industry, we can point to a track record of reducing emissions per passenger that goes back to the beginning of jet flight. And we were the first global industry to set tough carbon targets, with our objective to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
It is also worth noting that about 80% of aviation's CO2 emissions occur on flights over 1,500 km, where there is no other transportation alternative.
How do you plan to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions?
We plan to meet the net-zero objective through a combination of maximum elimination of emissions, with offsetting and new technologies. By 2050, we plan to achieve:
- 65% usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), sourced from feedstocks that do not degrade the environment or compete with food or water
- 13% investment in new aircraft technology, including new aerodynamic and alternative propulsion (electric or hydrogen) solutions
- 3% improvement in air traffic management (more direct routes, less congestion at airports generating prolonged flying times)
- 19% usage of offsets (compensation) particularly to invest in carbon capture and carbon storage technologies
For more information, please visit the Fly Net Zero page.
What does Net Zero actually means?
The net zero commitment implies that the airline industry will eliminate 21.2 gigatons of carbon by 2050, which corresponds to the 2021-2050 emissions on a ‘business as usual’ trajectory. This will allow airlines will achieve net-zero carbon emissions (can you explain in other words, or explain what net zero means) by 2050 to align with the Paris Agreement goal for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C.
Our strategy is to eliminate as much CO2 as possible from fuel, aircraft technology, actual flying, and develop new zero-emissions energy sources such as electric and hydrogen power. And those emissions that cannot be eliminated will be compensated by funding carbon capture and storage solutions and by offsetting schemes.