2050 net- zero carbon goal in aviation “overly optimistic”: Qatar Airways CEO
According to Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, the aviation industry’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is considered overly optimistic given the formidable challenges ahead. While recognizing the importance of decarbonizing the aviation sector, Al Baker expressed skepticism about the feasibility of reaching this goal, stating, “That will be very difficult to achieve.” He further emphasized that this target for 2050 is not too far away and questioned the level of commitment within the industry to make it a reality.
Al Baker stressed the need for the entire aviation industry, including oil companies, to collaborate in pursuit of the net-zero emissions objective. He raised concerns about the high cost of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) due to limited mass production and supply infrastructure, urging oil companies to play a more active role in providing affordable and sustainable fuel.
Despite his reservations, Al Baker affirmed his support for sustainable aircraft development and highlighted Qatar Airways’ commitment to investing in fuel-efficient planes. He cited the recent delivery of two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in a single day as evidence of the airline’s dedication to eco-friendly aviation practices.
Al Baker emphasized the vital role of sustainability in aviation, extending beyond efficient aircraft to encompass the use of sustainable materials and operational practices. Qatar Airways has actively worked to optimize its fleet and incorporate sustainable measures into its operations.
In the broader context, the global aviation industry has set the ambitious target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. One significant step toward this objective is the increasing adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels. SAF has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions throughout its lifecycle compared to conventional jet fuel. However, the current lack of extensive production infrastructure poses a challenge in meeting the demand for SAF in airline operations.