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Sustainable Aviation

Like almost all modern activities in life, air transport produces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as it uses fuel to power aircraft. The industry takes its responsibility towards sustainable aviation seriously and is working to minimise its impact on the environment as much as possible whilst continuing to deliver essential connectivity and travel opportunities to millions of people across the globe. The efficiency of aircraft has improved continuously and, in fact, a flight taken today will produce half the CO2 that the same flight would have in 1990. However, the industry is also growing rapidly to meet the needs of citizens who wish to travel. That growth is often faster than the efficiency improvements, leading to a rise in overall emissions. For the air transport industry, including ERA and its members, sustainable aviation and the environment is a key topic and high profile agenda item.

Aviation is approaching the challenge of achieving its climate goals through a multi-pillar strategy: developing new technology, transitioning to sustainable aviation fuels, more efficient operations, better use of infrastructure and a global market-based measure for aviation CO2 emissions. In 2009, the aviation industry set three global goals to address its climate impact:
1. an annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 1.5% from 2009 to 2020;
2. stabilise net CO2 emissions at 2020 levels with carbon-neutral growth; and
3. reduce aviation’s net CO2 emissions to half of what they were in 2005, by 2050.

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Source: ERA/ATAG