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Decarbonisation

Towards more sustainable air travel for future generations

Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation. At Airbus, we understand that society expects us to rise to this challenge. This is why we at Airbus have the ambition to develop the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035 to ensure future generations can enjoy flying as much as we do.

A seismic shift for the aviation industry

Aviation has given us the possibility to explore all four corners of our planet. To connect with friends and to meet new ones—anywhere. To feel the thrill of seeing our world from 30,000 feet above. 

Today, we know that our love of air travel also comes at a cost: the aviation industry represents approximately 2,5% of global human-induced COemissions. But aviation is not the problem. Emissions are the problem. 

At Airbus, we are convinced that carbon-neutral aviation is not only possible, but achievable within our lifetime. This is why we have the ambition to develop the world's first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. 

Our work in electric flight has laid the groundwork for a future zero-emission commercial aircraft. We are now exploring a variety of hybrid-electric and hydrogen technology options. Our approach is not only ambitious, but rather, a seismic shift for our industry. 

As we work to achieve our ambition, we are also developing a multifaceted climate-impact programme for commercial aircraft. This includes a focus on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), ATM solutions and market-based measures.

 

Carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onwards

Airbus aligns with global and binding offsetting programmes, in addition to other market-based measures, to help cap the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions. We support ICAO as the right body to implement global market-based measures for the aviation industry. 

The aviation industry, including Airbus, has committed to an industry-wide decarbonisation movement that includes the following key targets: 

  • Carbon-neutral growth: From 2020, net carbon emissions from aviation will be capped. This means that even though air travel is increasing, greenhouse gas emissions will not (ATAG). 
  • 50% reduction in CO2 emissions: By 2050, net aviation carbon emissions will be half of 2005 levels (CORSIA).
An infographic highlighting primary aspects of the aviation industry’s emission-reduction plan.

Impactful partnerships to tackle climate change

To achieve these ambitious targets, we fully understand that we cannot move forward alone. This is why we align our climate action plan to a variety of industry-wide environmental principles and targets driven by organisations in which Airbus plays a leading role.

 

  • ATAG: The Air Transport Action Group is a global independent body that brings together the entire aviation industry to promote sustainable growth that benefits society.
  • Clean Sky: This public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European aeronautics industry aims to develop innovative technology aimed at reducing COand gas emissions, as well as noise levels produced by aircraft.
  • CORSIA: This UN-backed programme aims to ensure a rise in international aviation emissions (above 2020 levels) is offset elsewhere.
  • IAEG: The International Aerospace Environmental Group promotes global standards for greenhouse gas emissions reporting, substances management and substitution technologies. We are a founding member of IAEG.
  • ITAKA: We played a leading role in the ICAO-sponsored and European Commission-funded research project—Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation (ITAKA)—which aimed to speed up the commercialisation of fossil-free biofuels.
  • Hydrogen Council: This global initiative brings together energy, transport and industry companies to deliver a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen in fostering the energy transition. We are currently a member of the Hydrogen Council to benefit from the huge cross-industry experience on hydrogen.
  • SESAR: The Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research initiative aims to shape the future of air transportation and drive sustainable growth around the world by developing solutions for air traffic management.
  • Environment matters for the future of aerospace

    Environment Matters

    Read more about our company-wide approach to environmental stewardship as we work to lay the foundation for a more sustainable aerospace industry. Download File 2.66 MB
Optimising day-to-day aircraft operations

Optimising day-to-day aircraft operations

We leverage ATM solutions and ground-and-flight operational measures to reduce air travel’s impact on the environment. We are also involved in the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) initiative.

Earth Observation Satellites Portfolio

Monitoring climate change

Our earth-observation satellites shed light on significant environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution, deforestation and natural disasters. These include the EarthCARE satellite for one of ESA’s Earth Explorer missions and Sentinel earth-observation satellites for the Copernicus programme.

Discover Environment at Airbus

Product responsibility

Sustainable supply chain

Future aircraft

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