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European aviation sector proposes EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation to realise EU’s 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation ambitions

Environmental Aviation
  • Destination 2050 already shows a pathway for Europe’s aviation sector to decarbonise, in line with the EU’s 2050 climate objectives.
  • Pact would complement European Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ policies to ensure aviation can meet its decarbonisation targets

Brussels, 14 July 2021 – In its ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package published today, the European Commission set out proposals aimed at reducing net EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55%1 by 2030. This represents a major stepping stone to reach the EU’s climate goal of net zero emissions by 2050 and is also aligned with the aviation sector’s own objective of achieving net zero CO2 emissions from all flights within and departing Europe by 2050.

To support the ‘Fit for 55’ initiative and ensure climate targets can be reached, Europe’s leading airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers2 have proposed the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation - a joint roadmap for industry and policymakers to align their actions towards realising the 2030 and 2050 climate goals. The Pact – led by the European Commission - would set out a shared vision, common aspirational targets and high-level principles for joint aviation and policymaker action. 

The Destination 2050 initiative, launched earlier this year, shows how a combination of measures across four pillars can be used to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from aviation by 2050, namely:

  • Improvements in aircraft and engine technologies;
  • Ramp-up in production and uptake of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs);
  • Implementation of smart economic measures;
  • Improvements in air traffic management (ATM) and aircraft operations

"European aviation supports the Commission’s climate ambitions and Destination 2050 is our sector’s contribution to their implementation – but the roadmap clearly shows that we cannot do this alone. Realising our ambition and achieving a net zero European aviation requires fully aligned and enabling policy, regulatory and financial frameworks – both at EU and national level. For this reason we call on the European Commission to support and take the lead in the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation to drive these proposals forward. We stand ready to engage with the European Commission to define such a Pact and hold regular exchanges to ensure its implementation”, said the five Destination 2050 associations. 

The associations have also outlined their proposal to make Europe the hub for net zero CO2 flight in an Editorial published yesterday3.