European aviation sector proposes pact to meet 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation ambitions

In its ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, the European Commission set out proposals aimed at reducing net EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030.

It says that this represents a “major” stepping stone to reach the EU’s climate goal of net zero emissions by 2050 and is also aligned with the aviation sector’s own objective of achieving net zero CO2 emissions from all flights within and departing Europe by 2050.

To support the ‘Fit for 55’ initiative and ensure climate targets can be reached, Europe’s leading airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers have proposed the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation – a joint roadmap for industry and policymakers to align their actions towards realising the 2030 and 2050 climate goals. The Pact – led by the European Commission – would set out a shared vision, common aspirational targets and high-level principles for joint aviation and policymaker action.

The Destination 2050 initiative, launched earlier this year, shows how a combination of measures across four pillars can be used to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from aviation by 2050, namely:

  • improvements in aircraft and engine technologies;
  • ramp-up in production and uptake of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs);
  • implementation of smart economic measures; and
  • improvements in air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations.

“European aviation supports the Commission’s climate ambitions and Destination 2050 is our sector’s contribution to their implementation – but the roadmap clearly shows that we cannot do this alone. Realising our ambition and achieving a net zero European aviation requires fully aligned and enabling policy, regulatory and financial frameworks – both at EU and national level. For this reason, we call on the European Commission to support and take the lead in the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation to drive these proposals forward. We stand ready to engage with the European Commission to define such a Pact and hold regular exchanges to ensure its implementation”, said the five Destination 2050 associations.

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