Airlines in Malaysia and Asia Pacific target net zero carbon emissions by 2050

12-Oct-2021 Intellasia | TheStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, surpassing the existing industry commitment to halving carbon emissions within the same period.

This all-industry effort will be based on a combination of technology, operational improvements, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and global market-based measures.

Sustainable aviation fuels are expected to feature heavily in the industry’s overall reduction in carbon emissions by almost completely replacing fossil fuels on commercial flights by 2050.

AAPA director-general Subhas Menon said sustainability is an important aspect that the aviation sector needs to consider.

“Sustainability is a global challenge that calls for a global solution. Together, we need to ensure that distribution of the burden of reducing carbon emissions is fair and equitable, while allowing the industry to recover and restart,” he said in a statement.

AAPA, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, represents scheduled international airlines based in Asia Pacific.

Collectively, the region’s airlines represent over one-third of global passenger and air cargo traffic, and thus play a leading role in the ongoing development of global aviation.

According to Subhas, Asia Pacific constitutes some 40 percent of global SAF demand. However, production and supply facilities in the region are lacking.

“Allocation of sufficient resources to convert feedstock, like municipal or agricultural waste, waste oils from food production and other biomass for the production of SAF will make a critical difference,” he explained.

Significant quantities of SAF will be needed by the industry as 80 percent of emissions are from flights over 1,500km, for which aircraft powered by alternative energy sources, such as electricity and hydrogen, are not available.

On market-based measures, Subhas referred to the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia) that was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao).

The scheme targets to lower CO2 emissions for international flights in its bid to curb the aviation impact on climate change.

Subhas said Corsia will play an important part in realising the net zero carbon emissions goal.

“It is the agreed global mechanism for offsetting growth in international aviation CO2 emissions since 2020. AAPA wholly supports Icao’s efforts on this front, and will continue to encourage states to fully participate in the scheme,” he said.

He added that investing in emerging sources of energy such as direct carbon capture and carbon sequestration when these become viable, could complement the industry’s efforts towards achieving net zero emissions.

Moving forward, Subhas stressed that global consensus is vital to address aviation emissions in the longer term.

“A comprehensive approach involving multiple stakeholders to deliver emissions reductions is key to a resilient and sustainable aviation industry,” he said.


Category: Malaysia

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