Philippine Airlines sets targets for net zero emissions by 2050

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines will attain net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in support of international agreements for climate action, the company says.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is already investing in an all-out carbon reduction program, part of its multi-year commitment to combat climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Aviation makes up more than 2 percent of all global CO2 emissions: around 1.3 percent from international and 0.7 percent from domestic flights. According to United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), greenhouse gas emissions from aviation could increase by a factor of two to four times 2015 levels by 2050.

“Our Net Zero initiative comes at a crucial time for the international aviation industry, which seeks to lessen its environmental impact,” said Philippine Airlines president Stanley K. Ng.

PAL’s Net Zero goal will be holistic and comprehensive, covering both flight and ground operations. PAL began this process by shifting to renewable energy for the electricity supply of its major offices and working on the potential use of sustainable aviation fuel to power its fleet of high-technology aircraft.

The airline is continually improving its operational efficiency by implementing fuel efficiency initiatives such as Single Engine Taxi In (SETI) and Reduced Acceleration Altitude (RAAL) that reduce CO2 emissions while adhering to strict safety standards.

In the long term, Philippine Airlines seeks to develop a Net Zero Emissions (NZE) strategy and foster a more earth-friendly aviation environment based on scientific best practices.

For this purpose, PAL tapped the services of climate scientist and science diplomat Glenn Banaguas who is the president and founder of the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI).

In 2010, Banaguas spearheaded the institute’s flagship program, Climate Smart Philippines: Science for Service, bringing scientific experts and stakeholders together to address disasters and preventing losses from climate change. For these initiatives, he received the global UN Sasakawa Award, the first individual Filipino recipient in the award’s 35-year history. He is also the honoree of The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureate, the Philippines’ equivalent of the Nobel Prize and is also the Executive Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Lee Kuan Yew Senior Fellow in Public Service.

With Banaguas providing expertise, PAL aims to conduct comprehensive assessments of its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and move towards full decarbonisation.

In the long haul, Philippine Airlines seeks to develop a roadmap for its own Net Zero Emissions (NZE) strategy. In addition, the flag carrier will develop and integrate emissions scenarios projected until 2050 using internationally accepted models. It will likewise develop and recommend science- and evidence-based targets as well as gender-based programs for the entire PAL community.

“PAL’s commitment to climate action is a great service to the country and to the world,” Banaguas said. “More than just a rallying call, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility for and stewardship of the environment.”

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