The aviation industry is split on whether it can meet its climate targets with almost a third of its sustainability executives predicting it will miss a mid-century deadline, a survey commissioned by GE Aerospace suggested on Thursday 15 June.
Published ahead of the Paris Airshow, the global survey showed just below half - or 46% - of the 325 executives surveyed believe the industry will meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, while 32% believe it will not and 22% are unsure.
Most believe the industry will meet its objectives by 2055, however.
"Respondents are split as to whether progress is happening at the right pace, with 51% saying it is too slow, adding a sense of urgency to a longer-term target," GE Aerospace said.
The aviation industry set a 2050 goal of net zero emissions in 2021. The main path is widespread use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, which so far makes up 0.1% of airline fuel consumption.
Environmental critics say the targets are unrealistic due to the low level of SAF available and argue the only way to reach them is to substantially reduce flying globally.
Rising costs and supply issues are among the biggest hurdles and the industry needs more support, GE said in a poll summary.
"The survey is trying to show that this is ambitious, (but) it's not going to be easy," Allen Paxson, vice president of commercial programs strategy at the U.S. engine maker said in an interview, adding he believed the target would be met.
"It's a sign that people are taking it really seriously. The fact that some people forecast differently than other people is okay: let's get our heads around it and get on with it."
The head of the International Air Transport Association, Willie Walsh, said last week airlines were "absolutely committed" to the 2050 target but reaching it would be tough.
GE said 74% of respondents said they would maintain or grow green investments in the face of inflation or recession.
The survey was carried out last month by Ipsos in the United States, UK, China, India, the UAE and France.
France's Macron Vows To Boost Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production
The above news was followed by news that France will invest €200 million to boost the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as part of measures to make the French and the European aviation industry greener, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday 16 June.
"The French must be the champions of the ultra-sober aircraft," Macron said.
The French president was speaking during a visit of a site of aerospace engine-maker Safran in Villaroche, in the Paris region, and ahead of the Paris Air Show next week.
The €200 million will notably help fund the construction in Lacq in southwestern France of a SAF production plant.
Aviation is seen as one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise, with zero-emission aircraft not expected for more than a decade.
The aviation industry set a 2050 goal of net zero emissions in 2021. The main path is widespread use of sustainable aviation fuel, which so far makes up 0.1% of airline fuel consumption.