Impact of CO2 on air transport
The aviation sector is the pioneering sector in environmental awareness.
Similarly to other industries, aviation has also been playing a relevant role in the reduction of carbon emissions by committing to perfect global metrics.
Will airlines be able to reduce their carbon emissions?
It is estimated that in order to reduce global warmth in 2oC, countries must reduce the carbon emissions – GDP ratio in 5.1% a year until 2050. In order for that to happen, all sectors must be committed and play a leading role in ensuring that this goal is fulfilled, including the aviation sector, which is currently responsible for 2% total greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to achieve this goal, the aviation sector has been focusing on five main areas:
› Alternate fuel – increasing biofuel use and reducing carbon emissions;
› Technology – improvement in airspace production, such as aircraft aerodynamics, using lighter material, and more efficient combustion engines reducing fuel consumption per flown kilometre;
› Infrastructures/Operations – implementing measures like ATM - air traffic management, which is responsible for more direct routes, and ground vehicles on airport runways enabling lower fuel consumption and subsequent reduction in CO2 emissions;
› Business – bigger efficiency per passenger may be the result of economies of scale achieved through larger aircrafts, as well as load factor maximisation;
› Carbon credits – whenever airlines exceed the allowed carbon emission levels, they must buy carbon credits, which have a natural impact on the corporate cost structure.
Carbon emissions from air transport have been considered by EETS - European Emissions Trading Scheme since 2012, with every airline receiving a certain amount of emission credits based on their carbon emission history. When companies exceed this amount they must buy emission credits. Since this deliberation came from the European Commission, such measure also applies to flights from and to the EU – European Union, which also depend on emission credits corresponding to the amount of emissions released during flight.
However, due to high international pressure, the European Commission decided last November 2012 to suspend the accounting and trading of carbon emissions from international flights for 12 months. This means that airlines providing flights from and to the EU do not need to keep count of carbon emissions with a natural impact on the amount of necessary emission credits.
These aviation targets require a demanding regulatory system.
SATA – similarly to other airlines – depends on fuel consumption for its daily operational activity. Such fuel consumption is responsible for the emission of GHG – Greenhouse Gas, which reached approximately 238 thousand tons of CO2 in 2012.
|Emissions of CO2 (t)|
|Did you know that SATA possesses guidelines for monitoring carbon emissions?|
SATA possesses guidelines for monitoring carbon emissions, which resulted in the inventory of amounts of CO2 emissions. This inventory is carried out every three months by means of an internal computer application preparing reports according to APA requirements.
SATA – Azorina ProtocolOne of the goals in the protocol signed between SATA and Azorina is to contribute towards the compensation of carbon emissions from the several travels by means of forestation of certain areas, being that the accumulation of 200 kg carbon in average (equivalent to a trip between the Azores and Lisbon) is made by a tree every 12 years approximately).