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Qantas pledges zero emissions by 2050

Nikhil Gangaram
Qantas, travel, plane,

According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) has pledged to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

What did Qantas announce?

The article revealed that Qantas CEO Mr Alan Joyce has vowed to slash net carbon emission to zero by 2050. The airliner plans to cap net emissions at around 12 million tonnes by 2020 and gradually reduce emissions over the next 30 years.

Mr Joyce stated today, “We’re effectively doubling our carbon offsetting program from today, and we’re capping our net emissions across Qantas and Jetstar from 2020 so that all new flying will be carbon neutral.”  

The bold announcement makes Qantas only the second airline group in the world to target zero net emissions after International Airlines Group (owner of British Airways) made the pledge last month. The aviation sector has come under increasing scrutiny among activists for its contribution to climate change. According to the federal government’s Clean Energy Regulator, Qantas was Australia’s 20th biggest emitter of carbon emissions in 2018.

How does Qantas plan to achieve zero emissions?

The announcement goes beyond Qantas’ previous pledge of cutting emissions to half their 2005 level by 2050. Mr Joyce said the company’s ambitious goal for 2050 would be achieved through fuel efficiency and carbon offset schemes, rather than people flying less often.

Starting today the company also announced that it will match every dollar spent by Qantas and Jetstar passengers who choose to offset their emissions. Currently, around 10% of Qantas customers pay to offset their individual carbon contribution when they fly.

The company is also planning to fly more efficient aeroplanes, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In addition, Qantas will also invest $50 million over the next 10 years to help develop more affordable sustainable aviation fuels that could reduce carbon emissions by 80%.

What about Qantas’ financial performance?

Late last month Qantas’ first quarter trading update reflected softer general business and consumer confidence. The company cited a weak Australian dollar, fuel price volatility and trade wars as factors impacting trading conditions.

Despite the slower revenue environment, Qantas assured shareholders that the company’s strong fundamentals would carry it through tougher trading conditions.

The Qantas share price is trading near 52-week highs and is up 1.5% for the day at the time of writing.

The post Qantas pledges zero emissions by 2050 appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Nikhil Gangaram has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019