As the world turns its focus to the environmental impact of travel, Qantas has ramped its efforts up to make history in the world of ‘going green’.
The major airline has ambitiously stated it will eliminate carbon emissions completely by 2050, becoming only the second airline in the world to put forward this commitment.
The announcement comes after scrutiny of the industry did the rounds in the media. Currently, there is immense pressure placed on travellers towards their carbon footprint, causing them to choose more environmentally friendly methods of travel.
Encouraging industry change
Moving on from 2020, Qantas will cap its emissions at 12 million tonnes and will offset additional growth from domestic and international operations across several of its branches. This includes Qantas, Jetstar, Qantas Freight and QantasLink.
From today onwards, Qantas will also match every single dollar spent by Jetstar and Qantas passengers who choose to fly ‘carbon neutral’ when they purchase their flights.
The airline said these promises are ambitious but are important short-term actions to create a more positive goal in the long-term.
Qantas will also invest a huge $50 million over a decade to help create sustainable aviation fuel. If this is developed, it will reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent. Currently, this kind of fuel costs twice as much as traditional alternatives.
Of all global carbon emissions, commercial flying accounts for approximately two per cent of the total. Concerns of these emissions and of climate change are tangible and real, but with airlines making positive moves for the future, they can be countered.
The airline also hopes that these choices will encourage flyers to choose its airlines over less environmentally friendly competitors. As it is the second airline to pledge this commitment – alongside the International Airlines Group – it hopes to promote this shift across the industry.
The announcement also comes after research noted that Australian travellers are ditching flying to adopt greener forms of transport.
A recent survey from Booking.com showed both environmental and social factors are up at the top of the priorities list for Aussies, when booking flights.
Beyond this, its thought that global movements – like Greta Thunberg’s actions as a climate activist – are creating a shift in mindset. The 16-year-old is also known for refusing to fly on any plane since 2015.