Air Canada airplanes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Friday, March 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Air Canada sets goal to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Air Canada announced Monday that it has set climate targets to reach a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its global operations by 2050.

According to a press release, Air Canada also set mid-term goals and by 2030 it is targeting a 20 per cent net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from flights plus a 30 per cent net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its ground operations compared to its 2019 output.

“Climate change is critical, and we believe we can and must do more to address this for the future of our environment,” said Michael Rousseau, the president and chief executive officer at Air Canada.

“This is why we are further embedding climate considerations into our strategic decision-making, and undertaking a very ambitious plan that is meaningful, will support Canada’s leadership position on climate change, advance de-carbonization in the airline industry while keeping fares affordable for customers,” he said.

Air Canada said that it will continue to use the energy efficient Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 Max narrow-body fleets which are more efficient and average about 20 per cent less fuel consumption per seat as well as 20 per cent less carbon dioxide and nitrogen compared to the aircraft they replace.

The airline company is also investing $50 million in sustainable aviation fuels and other low carbon aviation fuel development in order to evaluate the practical applications of renewable energy sources including biogas and renewable electricity.

According to the press release, Air Canada has improved fuel efficiency by 43 per cent since 1990, and from 2016 to 2019, the company reduced more than 135,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from its air operations through fuel efficiency programs.

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