The member airlines of Oneworld have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 13 airlines are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
The majority of the airlines have already individually made commitments, and each will continue to “develop their individual approaches.”
Initiatives include 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.
IAG (the parent of member carriers British Airways and Iberia), Japan Airlines and Qantas have all targeted net zero carbon emissions by 2050,
Sustainability: British Airways aims for net zero emissions by 2050
while Finnair aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
British Airways is part of an initiative to turn household and commercial waste into renewable jet fuel.
British Airways and Shell plan Europe’s first commercial waste to jet fuel plant
The net zero carbon emissions target is being led through a working group co-led by IAG Group Head of Sustainability Jonathon Counsell and Qantas Executive Manager Sustainability and Future Planet David Young.
Oneworld Chairman and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “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.”
Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “Alongside our member airlines, we are proud to be the first alliance to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and play a role in making the industry more sustainable. We want to thank our member carriers for their support and recognise IAG and Qantas for the leadership they have shown as we committed together to this goal.”
Sustainable Aviation, a coalition of UK airports, airlines and manufacturers that made its own commitment to reach net zero by 2050 earlier this year welcomed the announcement. The Chair, Adam Morton said,
“The Oneworld net zero pledge is a great ending to ICAO’s Stocktaking 2020 event. It is very encouraging to see this broad support for net zero aviation from carriers from across the world.”
The use of offsets to achieve net zero is, however, controversial.
And CO2 emissions are only part of the problem, commentators point out
I’m pleased to see the @traveloneworld alliance commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the @icao Stocktake 2020 this morning. It’s a solid step forward that raises a few questions (THREAD). https://t.co/EigvtMHxpa
— Dan Rutherford (@rutherdan) September 11, 2020
[NEW] research: Commercial aircraft are already more efficient than @ICAO’s CO2 standard will require . . . in 2028. https://t.co/36U9GT8MJ7 With aviation traffic growing four times faster than fuel efficiency is improving, ICAO needs to update the standard /1 pic.twitter.com/MLNfIgLbtN
— The ICCT (@TheICCT) September 8, 2020