U.S. aerospace firms commit to net zero emissions by 2050

Washington, Oct. 4 (BNA): The US airline industry is preparing to advance a climate target by pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2050, echoing a commitment that global airlines will discuss on Monday.

The Aerospace Industries Association of America will commit on Monday to working with airlines and governments to achieve the goal, joining a growing industry consensus that includes airports, according to industry sources and a document seen by Reuters.

The AIA could not immediately be reached for comment.

Global airlines are expected to vote on a similar proposal at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Boston on Monday.

The broader airline industry lobby, the Air Transport Action Group, is also expected to engage later this week.

The goal replaces the previous goal of halving net emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels, which was intended to reverse the Paris climate agreement to limit global temperature rise this century to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Reuters reported.

A United Nations report this year said there is now a 40% chance that global temperatures will temporarily reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in the next five years.

Environmental groups say the emerging net-zero 2050 goal does not go far enough and must be implemented through government action. Aviation accounts for about 3% of global emissions.

“Flight will not reach zero by 2050 unless it accepts binding climate laws put in place at the national level,” said Andrew Murphy, Brussels-based aviation director for transport and environment.

The commitment includes commercial aviation manufacturers such as aircraft maker Boeing, suppliers Honeywell International and Spirit Aero Systems.

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European plane maker Airbus has already said it will support the 2050 goal.

Boeing referred questions about the target to the AIA and ATAG.

To help achieve the new target, the sources said, manufacturers pledged to expand their investments in a new generation of technology for more efficient aircraft, such as hybrid jet engines expected to enter service within the next decade.

Airlines, airports and the airline industry are lobbying for government support to increase production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) needed to reach the goals.


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