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Qantas pledges zero net emissions by 2050

Alex Druce
Qantas has committed to zero net emissions by 2050 through fuel efficiency and carbon offset schemes

Qantas has become the second airline to commit to zero net emissions by 2050 amid mounting scrutiny of the aviation industry's carbon footprint.

The airline announced on Monday it will cap its net emissions at 2020 levels, and that it will offset all growth in emissions from domestic and international operations from 2020, including across its Jetstar, QantasLink and Qantas Freight operations.

The pledge exceeds that made by global industry body International Air Transport Association - which has committed to halving emissions from 2005 levels by 2050 - and is in line with the commitment made by British Airways owner International Airlines Group last month.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the company's 2050 goal will be achieved through fuel efficiency and the use of carbon offset schemes, rather than by people flying less often.

"Concerns about emissions and climate change are real, but we can't lose sight of the contribution that air travel makes to society and the economy," Mr Joyce said in a release.

"The industry has already come a long way in cutting its footprint and the solution from here isn't to simply 'fly less' but to make it more sustainable."