Aviation aims to reach net-zero by 2050

Europe’s aviation sector’s sustainability initiative, Destination 2050 – A Route to Net Zero European Aviation would see all flights within and departing the EU, UK and EFTA realising net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The plan and related commitments laid out by Europe’s airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers shows collective drive to make leisure and business air travel in Europe, and globally, more sustainable in the long-term.

According to the report, there is an opportunity to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 through a combination of four key measures of improvements in aircraft and engine technologies (emission reductions of 37 per cent), using sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) (reductions of 34 per cent), implementing economic measures and improvements in air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations.

The Destination 2050 report further assumes an impact on demand due to the above measures, resulting in the net-zero CO2 goal. Nevertheless, European air passenger numbers are projected to grow on average by approximately 1.4 per cent per year between 2018 and 2050 without compromising the sector’s ability to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by this point.

This is the first pan-European, industry-wide, long-term vision that comes with concrete solutions to the complex challenge of reducing CO2 emissions from commercial flights within and departing the EU, UK and EFTA. The initiative is led by five European aviation associations – Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD Europe), Airlines for Europe (A4E), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA). The report was made possible thanks to the work of the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and SEO Amsterdam Economics.

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