LONDON – Back in February this year, European aerospace giant Airbus revealed that “1,429 aircraft sold in 2019 and 2020” will “emit over 1bn tonnes of CO2”, revealing considerable climate concerns in a new arena which is focusing on becoming carbon neutral (Jolly, 2021).
This figure produced by Airbus is based on each of the 1,429 aircraft averaging an “in-service lifetime of approximately 22 years” as per its findings from the Scope 3 Disclosure document on their website (Airbus, 2021).
This article will take a look at the manufacturer’s findings presented a couple of months ago as well as what the company is aiming to do in order to combat this, especially through its innovative ideas towards hydrogen-powered aircraft.
The manufacturer dissected the 2019 and 2020 numbers individually to give more of a reflection of the tonnage that will be emitted over 22 years.
It is obviously key to note that less aircraft were delivered in 2020 due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“2019: Airbus delivered 863 commercial aircraft. Based on an average in-service lifetime of approximately 22 years, the total CO2 emissions for these products over their anticipated lifetime are estimated at approximately 740 MtCO2e — 130Mt of which are linked to upstream fuel production. This translates to an average efficiency of 66.6 gCO2e per passenger-kilometer.”
“2020: Airbus delivered 566 commercial aircraft. The total anticipated lifetime CO2 emissions for these products are estimated at approximately 440 MtCO2e — 80Mt of which are linked to upstream fuel production. This translates to an average efficiency of 63.5 gCO2e per passenger-kilometer.”Scope 3 Disclosure Report, Airbus (2021)
The manufacturer noted in this disclosure form that such figures do not take into account “the anticipated gradual introduction of decarbonisation measures, such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and hydrogen” (ibid).