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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.

Recently, the entire European aviation ecosystem has committed to continue its efforts to reduce its negative environmental impacts, both locally and globally. The European sector will contribute to the implementation of the European Green Deal and will work together with policy makers to reach the following climate objectives:

  1. Significant CO2 emission reductions by 2030, to allow a strong contribution to the EU’s own Climate action objectives and the Paris Agreement.
  2. Net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 from all flight within and departing from EU airports. This means that by 2050, emissions from these flights should be reduced as much as possible, with any residual emissions being removed from the atmosphere through negative emissions.
  3. Considering the feasibility of making 2019 the peak year for CO2 emissions from European aviation.

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Source: ERA/ATAG