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Etihad Airways has committed to reducing CO2 emissions to 50 per cent of 2019 levels by 2035, and achieving full net zero emissions by 2050 – which it says is a first for any airline in the Gulf.
The airline has also announced two carbon offsetting schemes. It is partnering with Respira on an offset scheme centred on a Tanzanian forestry project through which the airline will initially purchase 80,000 tonnes of CO2 offsets. This will neutralise the carbon emissions of the airline’s “Greenliner” 787-10 aircraft for a full year of operations in 2021.
The Makame Savannah REDD project – developed by Carbon Tanzania – employs a community-based model to curb deforestation and promote better management of local natural resources across more than 100,000 hectares in the southern extension of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem.
The airline also plans to launch a voluntary offset scheme for passengers on its website during 2021.
Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group CEO, said: “It’s encouraging to end a difficult year with such a positive move for the sustainable future of aviation. While the year brought many challenges, sustainability has remained at the top of our agenda, and the work hasn’t stopped.
“Expect to see more ground-breaking initiatives in 2021 as we learn the environmental lessons from initiatives with our Greenliner fleet and other sustainability initiatives.”
Dr Alejandro Rios-Galvan, chairman of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, who advises Etihad on a range of sustainability issues, said: “This is a great start for Etihad’s zero carbon journey using a well-respected offset standard that is fully compliant with the best sustainability practices out there.”