IATA announces 50 per cent decrease in carbon emissions per passenger

Posted: 16 December 2019 | | No comments yet

The decrease is a result of significant investments into fuel efficient aircraft and sustainable aviation fuel since 2009.

IATA announce 50 per cent decrease in carbon emissions per passenger

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that carbon emissions per passenger have decreased by over 50 per cent since 1990.

The improvements have been attributed to the industry achieving an annual fuel efficiency improvement of 2.3 per cent since 2009 – 0.8 percentage points ahead of target.

The progress is a cooperative achievement due to investments in more efficient aircraft and operational efficiencies. Over $1 trillion has been invested in new aircraft since 2009, and approximately $6 billion has been invested by many airlines signing forward purchase agreements for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The introduction of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will also ensure carbon-neutral growth on international flights from 2020, raising roughly $40 billion in climate finance.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “Cutting per passenger emissions in half is an amazing achievement of the technical expertise and innovation in the aviation industry. But we have even bigger ambitions. From 2020 we will cap net emissions. And by 2050 we will cut emissions to half 2005 levels. Accomplishing these targets means continued investment in new technology, sustainable fuels, and operational improvements.”

Further analysis from IATA shows that initiatives to deliberately suppress air travel through disciplinary passenger taxes are inefficient and largely ineffective at reducing carbon emissions. 

De Juniac continued: “Taxation aimed at stopping people from exercising their freedom to fly will make travel more expensive but do very little to reduce emissions. It is a politician’s feel-good solution, without taking responsibility for the negative impact it has on the economy or the mobility restrictions it imposes on people with lower incomes.”

It is estimated that CORSIA will reduce emissions by approximately 2.5 billion tonnes over the scheme’s lifetime. In the long-term, the aviation industry is aiming to reduce carbon emissions with cleaner technology, which will require a financially sound airline sector capable of funding the necessary investments to make flying sustainable. 

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