Air Canada teams up with major carriers to decarbonize aviation

·2-min read
Air Canada is among the founding members of Aviation Climate Taskforce’s (ACT), an industry group aimed at reducing emissions.
Air Canada is among the founding members of Aviation Climate Taskforce’s (ACT), an industry group aimed at reducing emissions.

Air Canada (AC.TO)(ACDVF) is among 10 major airlines forming a new non-profit industry group aimed at decarbonizing air travel.

The Aviation Climate Taskforce (ACT) says its goal is to support "critical medium-term solutions." Those are said to include synthetic fuel and direct air capture. The group says it eventually intends to support sustainable fuel and hydrogen-powered technology.

Canada's largest carrier joins Air France-KLM (AF.PA), American Airlines (AAL), Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), Delta Air Lines (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Lufthansa (LHA.DE), Southwest Airlines (LUV), United Airlines (UAL), and Virgin Atlantic as founding members of ACT. Boston Consulting Group, known for its life-like robots, is also a founding member.

According to ACT, aviation contributes around two to three per cent on average of global carbon dioxide emissions annually. The group says that could rise to 20 per cent by 2050 if no action is taken.

"Combating global warming requires a global response, and we are pleased to be the first Canadian airline to join the Aviation Climate Taskforce," Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau said in a news release on Thursday. 

"We will work with other global carriers and invest in emerging technologies to advance the decarbonization of our sector and build a long-term, sustainable aviation industry."

The pledge to support emissions-cutting technology comes days ahead of a major global meeting on climate change. The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is set to begin on Oct. 31.

According to a report from Reuters, host nation Britain will ask countries to push for a global target to cut aviation emissions to levels compatible with the Paris Agreement. 

The collaboration among major airlines also follows a report from the CAPA Centre for Aviation and Envest Global suggesting some carriers may risk failure if they do not cut emissions quickly, due to pressure from customers, government and investors.

In March, Air Canada committed to hitting net-zero emissions by 2050, and said it would invest $50 million on the development of sustainable fuel, as well as carbon reductions and removal.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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