British Airways plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2050

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

United Kingdom flag carrier British Airways (BA) has announced a plan to cut their net carbon dioxide emissions by 50% between now and 2050. The target was announced by airline head Willie Walsh speaking in Hyderabad upon the opening of a new route between London's Heathrow Airport and the Indian city. This is the most ambitious such target set by an airline.

"Some people say that in economic times as desperately tough as these, we can afford to put climate change issues on one side. I could not disagree more. Halving net CO2 by 2050 is an extremely challenging target. But it is one I am sure we can achieve," said Walsh.

"We will make progress through investment in cleaner aircraft, use of alternative fuels, more efficient flight routings and the spread of emissions trading from Europe to the whole world," he explained.

“We have taken climate change issues very seriously for a long time. More than a decade ago, we became the first airline to publish fuel efficiency targets – and we have achieved an improvement since then of almost 30 per cent. [...] We are the only airline to have experience of emissions trading, and we have helped fund research into lower-carbon aviation fuels. We are currently working closely with Rolls-Royce to develop alternative fuel opportunities.”

If successful, BA's carbon dioxide emissions will lower from sixteen million tonnes in 2005 to eight million tonnes in 2050. Walsh also spoke of previous experience the airline had in the field, and noted that they "are currently working closely with Rolls-Royce to develop alternative fuel opportunities."

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