Saturday January 25, 2020
Home Lead Story World’s...

World’s Largest Airlines Yet To Work on Their “Emissions Intensity” Goals

The airline industry more broadly has set goals that include capping aviation's net emissions at 2020 levels, and halving net emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels, Dietz said.

0
//
ethiopia, plane crash
The plane was new. The weather was clear. Yet something was wrong, and the pilots tried to return to the airport. They never made it. Pixabay

Some of the world’s largest airlines have yet to set long-term targets to reduce their climate-changing emissions, climate and economic researchers warned Tuesday.

Top publicly listed airlines have cut their “emissions intensity” — how much pollution they produce for the same amount of activity — significantly in recent years, said researchers from the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute.

But they are not making clear plans for the much larger emissions reductions needed to meet internationally agreed climate goals, the researchers said.

Beyond 2020 and particularly in the long-term “the targets these airlines have set to reduce their emissions are not clearly consistent with the Paris Agreement goals,” said Simon Dietz, co-author of a study released Tuesday.

The Paris goals, agreed by world governments in 2015, call for keeping global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and ideally to 1.5C above pre-industrial times.

The study, which looked at 20 of the world’s largest publicly listed airlines, noted that air travel currently accounts for about 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and 12 percent of transport-related emissions.

Airlines
The airline between 2016 and 2020 also is replacing 30 percent of its main fleet with aircraft 15 to 25 percent more fuel-efficient, Simmons said, and its fleet has seen a 9 percent increase in fuel efficiency since 2009. VOA

Cutting those emissions — and emissions from shipping — is particularly challenging because their mobile nature makes it harder for companies to use clean energy sources such as solar or wind power.

Alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, may offer long-term solutions but are still being developed.

The study, backed by investor groups, analyzed the public disclosures of airlines as a way of assessing their performance on combatting climate change, Dietz said.

The airlines were evaluated based on their carbon management practices and emissions performance. Airlines with lower emissions often had younger fleets, more passengers per flight and a focus on longer versus shorter flights, Dietz said.

Helen Vines Fiestas, the deputy global head of sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said the report raises key questions about what the aviation industry is prepared to do to contribute to climate change action in the long run.

Airlines, she said, should join forces and look at airline-related emissions as a joint problem, “asking how are we going to go about it” in making emissions reductions, she said.

But “this is just not what we are seeing, and this is what really worries us,” she said.

Carbon offsets

Many airlines have adopted industry targets to reduce net emissions, usually through “carbon offsetting,” which can include things like paying to plant carbon-absorbing forests or build clean energy systems elsewhere to compensate for airline emissions, Dietz said.

FILE - Delta Air Lines planes are parked at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Washington, Aug. 8, 2016.
Delta Air Lines planes are parked at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Washington, Aug. 8, 2016. VOA

Delta Airlines, for instance — rated in the study as one of the most active airlines on addressing climate issues — has committed to capping carbon emissions at 2012 levels, in part by purchasing offsets, according to Catherine Simmons, a spokeswoman for Delta.

Its website lets customers estimate their emissions and contribute to a range of carbon offset programs to compensate for them.

The airline between 2016 and 2020 also is replacing 30 percent of its main fleet with aircraft 15 to 25 percent more fuel-efficient, Simmons said, and its fleet has seen a 9 percent increase in fuel efficiency since 2009.

The airline industry more broadly has set goals that include capping aviation’s net emissions at 2020 levels, and halving net emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels, Dietz said.

Also Read: NASA Confirms Spacewalk Scheduled With The First Ever All-Women Astronauts

But that approach is not necessarily the most effective, he said, because reducing “net emissions” can be done through offsets rather than actual aviation emissions reductions.

“If you look at modeling by organizations like the International Energy Agency, it clearly shows that in the long run, the airline sector needs to reduce its own emissions,” he said. “We’re calling on airlines to make commitments that clearly show what they are going to achieve.” (VOA)

Next Story

The Changing World of Travel

The future of travel

0
Travel
From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there. Pixabay

International carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines did a recent survey to figure our how travellers are changing the way they search, book and travel. From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there.

Destination Instagram

The surveys shows that half of Gen Z and millennials consider how ‘Instagrammable’ their destination will be when booking. How many “likes” will it generate? The guarantee of taking beautiful holiday snaps is a prerequisite for 25.8 percent of them. The photos have to be authentic and taken by them personally.

Travellers increasingly use voice technology to navigate

Many people spend hours consulting search engines and browsing websites for their ideal travel destination. “Smart speakers” are assisting them on their quest, with more and more travellers finding their ideal destination and suitable air tickets using voice technology. KLM’s booking service, which is often consulted with the aid of Google Assistant, is attracting 10 percent more users every month.

Social media travel
Nowadays, people want to post about their travel experiences on social media. Pixabay

Travel inspiration on social media comes from friends and family

Instagram is expected to keep growing as a significant source of travel inspiration. The role of influencers and celebrities as a source of holiday inspiration is declining more and more (14.5 percent). Also, more than 50 percent of travellers don’t trust photos of holiday destinations shared by influencers. Travellers mainly look at posts from friends and family (65.3 percent) or click on hashtags to seek inspiration from strangers (45.9 percent).

Combining air and train travel will become more popular

Sustainability is important and travellers are taking it into account when booking. This is why travel operators are joining forces wherever possible to offer rail tickets for shorter distances as an alternative to flying. KLM will add more options to its website to plan short distances by train. The guiding principle being that the combination of air and rail travel can be planned and booked easily.

Are you compensating for CO2 emissions?

More and more passengers are compensating for their share of carbon emissions. A survey* commissioned by KLM revealed that 38.8 percent of travellers plan to compensate for CO2 emissions next year.

Air travel
Plane travel can be booked very easily these days. Pixabay

Your face is your passport

Queues will be shorter at the airport thanks to facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, KLM conducted tests where passengers passed through checkpoints at security, lounges and boarding by showing a selfie in the KLM App on their phones, instead of presenting their passports. The KLM App shows passengers at which airport this technology may be used. More and more passengers will encounter this technology in 2020 when new tests begin. Naturally, it is up to the passenger to decide whether they want to try this digital innovation or not.

AI to shorten waiting times in unforeseen circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances, such as thunderstorms, can lead to flight delays. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps reduce inconvenience to passengers by rapidly calculating how best to deploy available crews and aircraft. This will further improve flight punctuality in 2020.

Even more luxury and relaxation at the airport

All sorts of innovations will further improve the ways travellers spend their time at the airport. Transfer passengers will find sleeping pods in KLM’s new non-Schengen Crown Lounge or they can enjoy a luxury dinner at Restaurant Blue, with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Joris Bijdendijk.

Also Read- Ways to Treat Chapped and Dark Lips

Mobile telephone off or at home

Travellers increasingly prefer to stay off their mobile phone while on holiday, or at least to use it less. On the other hand, they can’t go without a phone altogether. Around 50 percent of passengers would prefer to use their phones as little as possible on holiday, but also indicate that this is not always possible. Almost a third of passengers would like to travel without a phone, but are afraid they will find this impossible. (IANS)