Categories: Tech

13 big airlines join net-zero emission strategy

The FINANCIAL — A group representing investors that collectively manage more than US$47tn in assets has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and promised to hold them to public account. Climate Action 100+ is an initiative that is supported by 518 institutional investor organizations across the world. It has written to 161 fossil fuel, mining, transport, and other big-emitting companies to set 30 climate measures and targets against which they will be analyzed in a report to be released in early 2021.

It is the latest step in a campaign by climate-concerned shareholders to force business leaders to explain how their targets and strategies will help reach the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement. The targeted companies are responsible for up to 80% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. They include mining giant BHP, which last week promised to reduce emissions from its operations by 30% over the next decade on a path to net-zero by 2050 after sustained pressure from activist shareholder groups. Others on the list include Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, BlueScope Steel, and major Australian energy companies AGL, Santos, Woodside, and Origin, as reported by The Guardian.

Oneworld Airline Alliance made a statement on 11 September 2020. They said that Oneworld member airlines have committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, becoming the first global airline alliance to unite behind a common target to achieve carbon neutrality. The alliance’s 13 member airlines plan to achieve this target within the existing environmental framework previously agreed to by governments, including through the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The airlines will develop their individual approaches to reach the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, through various initiatives such as efficiency measures, investments in sustainable aviation fuels and more fuel-efficient aircraft, reduction of waste and single-use plastics, and carbon offsets among other measures.

The statement read that several Oneworld member airlines are already actively prioritizing a range of environmental sustainability initiatives. IAG was the first airline group worldwide to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Japan Airlines and Qantas have also targeted net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Finnair aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Several other initiatives, including the use of more sustainable materials, investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, and the development of sustainable aviation fuels are already in progress at many member airlines. British Airways, for example, is part of an initiative to turn household and commercial waste into renewable jet fuel. American Airlines has undertaken an extensive fleet replacement initiative that has welcomed more than 500 new, more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet in place of less-efficient planes, and it has also begun adopting sustainable aviation fuel.

 “The commitment of Oneworld member airlines to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 underlines the importance that we as an alliance have placed on becoming a more sustainable industry. Despite the challenges we are all facing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not lost sight of the responsibility we have to reduce emissions in the long term and today’s announcement reflects the strength of that commitment.” – Said Oneworld Chairman and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, according to Fintech Zoom.

In a letter to 161 large carbon emitters, Climate Action 100+ set out targets against which each company will be scrutinized in a benchmark report expected to be published by early 2021.  Focus companies’ evaluation will depend on “indicators” that measure whether they have a plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier and reduce emissions released by customers that use those companies’ products. The measures are aimed at a 45% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels in order to meet a “net-zero” target, which means the complete elimination of carbon before 2050, Business Insider wrote.

The transformation of the power sector will only get the world one-third of the way to a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are expected to fall this year by eight percent from 2019 – their lowest level – as slower economic growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic slashed energy demand. However, the trend is not forecast to continue. The transport, industry, and building sectors currently account for more than 55 percent of CO2 emissions from the energy system, and that is expected to grow due to more vehicles being electrified, metals recycling, and heat production for industry and homes, the IEA said. Electricity generation would need to be around 2.5 times higher in 2050 than it is today, requiring a rate of growth equivalent to the entire US power sector every three years, according to Aljazeera.

BP cuts dividend and plans to slash oil production by 40%


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