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Baker ‘Sceptical’ About Aviation Industry Achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Baker ‘Sceptical’ About Aviation Industry Achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said on Tuesday that he is sceptical about the aviation industry target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, citing inadequate supplies of sustainable aviation fuel and alternative hydrogen designs in their infancy.

“I don’t think that we will be able to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Everybody’s talking about it, but let us be realistic - there is not enough production of sustainable aviation fuel,” Baker said during a panel discussion at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday.

“Everybody is talking about it. But let us be realistic. 

There is not enough production of sustainable deviation fuel. The hydrogen project is in its infancy, people also don’t know what the hydrogen fuel will generate when it is flying at high altitudes,” Baker said.

The panel drew prominent aviation executives to share insights on navigating the post-COVID world, cultivating a more sustainable industry, and maintaining robust revenues and profits.

It shed light on the strategies employed by industry leaders in this challenging era, including the shortage of fuel-efficient jets, which causes supply constraints due to the high demand for travel.

The warning by Baker comes days before global airlines are due to discuss how to implement the climate pledge at an annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Istanbul in June.

At the panel, Baker shared valuable perspectives from Qatar Airways and discussed the impact of supply constraints on the industry and advised competitors to focus on sustainability.

People will still depend on aviation to travel, he said adding it plays a crucial part in business, leisure, trade, and even economic development. In his opinion, there’s no other alternative than aeroplanes.

With Qatar Airways at the forefront of innovation, Baker also shared his insights on the airline’s strategy to adapt and thrive in the wake of the global pandemic.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same panel, Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said, “Really the only significant contributor by way of change in technology is Sustainable Aviation Fuel. That’s the only thing that moves the needle between nowand 2050.”

Calhoun said such technology would mature only in the second half of the century.