International Airlines Group (IAG) has become the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Instrumental in setting up the United Nation’s first global carbon offsetting scheme named CORSIA, IAG is introducing a package of measures to reduce the carbon footprint of its airlines, which will include investing US$400m in sustainable aviation fuel over the next 20 years. The move has been welcomed by airports across Europe as they reiterate their call for governments and aviation bodies to adopt policies that effectively facilitate and enable the decarbonisation of aviation at large.

“IAG’s new climate targets are excellent news and should be applauded,” said Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe. Calling for collective industry leadership, Jankovec referenced how IAG’s move complements the European airport industry’s commitment to achieve Net Zero for carbon emissions under their control by 2050.

“While achieving carbon-neutral growth as of 2020 is an important and needed first step, we all need to go beyond that – and set a long-term ambition for Net Zero for the sector. Europe’s airports stand ready to help and support IAG in its endeavours, and we hope that other airlines will quickly follow its lead.”

Jankovec also warned that beyond airlines Air Traffic Management (ATM) must also contribute, as he said: “I am increasingly hearing voices downplaying the role that ATM can play in decarbonisation – this is simply not acceptable. There can be no justification to defend the status quo.”

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