Qantas Airlines Promises to Behave: Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

In what is billed as a historic move, Qantas has become the third major airline in the world to pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, joining Air France and British Airways in the effort.
Qantas becomes third major airline to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 1 photo
Qantas will do more than just stick to the deadline, though. In a statement, the airline explains that it will be taking immediate action to curb its environmental impact, starting with matching every dollar pledged by fliers who opt for a carbon-neutral flight with them.

As of this moment, Qantas says about 10% of its passengers already opt for carbon offsetting their flights. Carbon offsetting is actually a donation that matches an estimate of the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by a flight. The money goes to an organization or charity whose projects fight climate change, whether they’re planting trees or helping the poor people of Africa.

In addition to capping net emissions from 2020 onward, Qantas will also focus on concrete action to stop climate change. Another measure that it will implement right away is to focus and invest in the development of sustainable aviation fuel, which is believed to lower carbon emissions by an estimated 80% if used on a large scale. For the time being, the airline will be donating $A 50 million to research.

“We recognize that airlines have a responsibility to cut emissions and combat climate change,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says in a statement. “We’ve already made some good progress, especially by investing in newer aircraft that have a much smaller carbon footprint. We want to do more, and faster.”

Since urging people not to fly anymore is not a solution, Qantas wants to be a pioneer of change and hopefully motivate other industry players actors into taking action. Of course, if it will also get them more customers, the better.

“Concerns about emissions and climate change are real, but we can’t lose sight of the contribution that air travel makes to society and the economy. The industry has already come a long way in cutting its footprint and the solution from here isn’t to simply ‘fly less’ but to make it more sustainable,” Joyce continues. “We’re doing this because it’s the responsible thing to do, but hopefully it will also encourage more people to choose Qantas and Jetstar because of the action we’re taking,”
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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