Aviation International News: Lack of Mandates Doesn't Deter Asian Airlines' Sustainability Push

AINonline, February 14, 2022

An increasing number of airlines in Asia-Pacific have committed to adopting environmental sustainability targets and practices, even though the urgency to decarbonize might not match that of European carriers. In Europe, national and EU governments have moved to curtail short-haul flights, impose sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blending mandates, and impose a tax on aviation fuel as part of the so-called Green Deal. The European Green Deal sets the blueprint for the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

“Europe is the leader of the pack in terms of going to net-zero by 2050. Some countries here in Asia such as Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and South Korea have committed to going to net-zero by 2050, but the two largest countries are somewhat behind,” noted Joshua Ng, director at Alton Aviation Consultancy in Singapore. China has said it targets reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 while India has pushed the goal even further, to 2070. “We see a divergence in terms of the net-zero commitment across the region,” Ng told AIN, adding that in the handful of Asia-Pacific countries that have committed to that goal, the commitment involves a mainly “holistic push” to decarbonize the economy and life.