Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today committed to a minimum target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and halving of its 2019 net emission levels by 2035.
The company’s ambitious environmental targets will be achieved through a mix of internal initiatives, collaboration with industry partners and adoption of a comprehensive program of relevant carbon offsets, to be developed with specific focus on the requirements of the UAE and markets served by the airline.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas, said: “The global focus on the environment and the urgency of reducing carbon emissions has never been greater. Etihad Aviation Group, together with its partners, is taking an active role in reducing the impact of aviation on the environment through initiatives ranging from optimised fuel management to sustainable financing practices.”
Today’s announcement came as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, an annual event in the capital of the UAE, where Etihad is headquartered.
Mr Douglas said the entire air transport industry, from airlines and suppliers to airspace providers, was responsible for helping to reduce aviation’s emissions, and solutions needed to be holistic and coordinated, not isolated and sporadic.
“Airlines have attracted significant scrutiny in the global discussion of the environment, and our collective challenge as a fast-growing industry is to deliver meaningful initiatives which can quickly help to contain and reduce carbon emissions,” he said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that the number of passenger journeys will more than double within 20 years, from 4.5 billion in 2019 to an estimated 9 billion by the late 2030s.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adds that international aviation will experience compound annual growth of 3.8 per cent to 2050, forecasting that traffic will reach 16.5 billion passenger kilometres, or 3.6 times 2015 volumes.
Recent sustainability initiatives taken by Etihad Aviation Group include: