When you think EasyJet you might not immediately think leader in the net-zero field and forerunners of electric aircraft but that’s just what the iconic budget airline have announced in November this year.
As the first airline to operate net-zero flights, agreeing to offset all emissions from fuel starting on 19 November they will also continue working on rolling out electric aircraft in the future – all with the ultimate aim of decarbonising its flights.
EasyJet’s current offsets will be delivered through verified projects accredited by the Gold Standard and Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), covering forestry schemes, renewables and community projects.
With climate change a global issue, as the world’s first to offset emissions, EasyJet are tackling the problem head on. Their Chief Executive, Johan Lundgren said:
“We acknowledge that offsetting is only an interim measure until other technologies become available to radically reduce the carbon emissions of flying, but we want to take action on carbon now. We also need governments to support efforts to decarbonise aviation. In particular, they must reform aviation taxes to incentivise efficient behaviour, fund research and development in new technology and ensure that early movers such as EasyJet are not penalised.”
EasyJet will also look to champion carbon capture technologies and sustainable aviation fuels in order to decarbonise its flights and operations.
EasyJet are not only reducing carbon emissions; they’re also working with Airbus on a joint research project to produce hybrid and electric aircraft and with Wright Electric on producing a fully electric plane for short haul flights.
“Environmental performance is a top-level priority for Airbus, and we are proud to have EasyJet on board as a partner for our hybrid and electric aircraft research,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. “Airbus is committed to meeting aviation’s decarbonisation objectives. By focusing our research efforts on hybrid and electric propulsion technologies, we are doing just that – playing a leading role, alongside our customers, in the development of clean and safe technologies for the sustainable future of our industry.”
What could this exciting announcement mean for the industry and the environment? Presumably more jobs in the sector, utilising new skills and technologies as the projects advance.
These are electrifying times for the whole airline industry!
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