Aviation industry’s net-zero emissions goals dismissed as unrealistic

Al Baker: "More needs to be done to increase SAF production"
Aviation industry’s net-zero emissions goals dismissed as unrealistic
Can the aviation sector get to net-zero emissions by 2050?

During the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker dismissed the aviation industry’s emissions goals as a mere “PR exercise.” His comments came on the same day that IATA announced a roadmap to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Al Baker had made similar remarks two weeks earlier at the Qatar Economic Forum, stating that the industry would not even be able to reach its 2030 targets due to inadequate volumes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

While he acknowledged that achieving net zero is possible, he believes the industry is far behind schedule to achieve it by 2050.

“I’m not saying it can’t be done, but to do it in the [2050] time frame, the industry is far behind.”

Read more: Paving the way to Net-Zero emissions: A roadmap for sustainable construction

IATA has committed to increasing the use of SAF by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. However, Al Baker argues that these targets are unrealistic due to the current low volumes of SAF being produced.

He believes that the industry is in denial about the slow rate of progress and that more needs to be done to increase SAF production.

At present, SAF production is less than 0.1% of what is needed to achieve net zero emissions

While there has been a three-fold increase in production to 300 million liters (9 million gallons) in 2020, this would need to rise to 450 billion liters (117 billion gallons) by 2050 to meet the target.

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