Dubai’s Emirates announces $200mn plan to fight climate change

Dubai’s Emirates announces $200mn plan to fight climate change

Posted on 11 May 2023

Emirates’ commitment is the largest of its kind by any airline on sustainability

Dubai’s Emirates, which is the world’s largest international airline, announced Thursday of its commitment of $200 million to fund research and development (R&D) projects focused on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation. 

Emirates’ commitment is the largest commitment by any airline on sustainability, and funds will be spent over a period of three years.

The airline will also partner with leading organisations focused on advanced fuel solutions and energy technologies.

“It’s clear that with the current pathways available to airlines in terms of emissions reduction, our industry won’t be able to hit net zero targets in the prescribed timeline,” Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark said.

“We believe our industry needs better solutions, and that’s why we’re looking to partner with leading organisations on R&D. Our aim is to contribute meaningfully to practical solutions for the long-term sustainability of commercial aviation,” he added.

Clark also emphasised that until “viable solutions” are found, Emirates will “continue to implement” environmentally responsible practices throughout.

This will include the upliftment of SAF or sustainable aviation fuels “where feasible,” to ensure efficient fleet operations, he added.

“Our $200 million fund is earmarked for R&D, and not for operating costs like the purchase of SAF or carbon offsets to tick regulatory boxes – activities we consider business-as-usual,” Clark added. 

Emirates’ Environmental Sustainability Executive Steering Group will oversee disbursements from the fund, with support from technical experts, the statement by the airline said.

Emirates’ emissions reduction initiatives

Emirates has a strong environmental policy and focuses on three key areas: reducing emissions, responsible consumption, and conservation of wildlife and habitats.

The airline successfully completed its first demonstration flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in partnership with Boeing and GE. However, the limited supply of bio-based SAF hinders its widespread use in the industry.

Emirates also participates in industry working groups and contributes to sustainable aviation fuel development initiatives.

In addition, the airline invests in a modern and young fleet of aircraft and has a comprehensive fuel efficiency program to reduce unnecessary fuel burn and emissions.

This program includes flexible routings, fuel-efficient practices on the ground, and renewable energy initiatives like solar panels and electric vehicles, the statement added.


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