Climate change policy
OUR CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AND 2030 AMBITION
We are aware of aviation industry’s impact on the planet. Aviation’s contribution to man-made greenhouse gas emissions is currently between 2 and 3%. However, if no action is taken and with the expected growth in global air traffic, aviation’s contribution will increase over the coming decades.
In 2008, we introduced our first Climate Action Plan to reduce our carbon footprint. In 2019, we tightened ambitions and set ourselves targets for 2030. The approach consists of seven main mitigating priorities, for which targets have been identified and action plans implemented:
- Fleet modernization and contributing to aeronautical research
- Sustainable Aviation Fuel and participating in research into renewable energies
- Operational measures
- Supporting the implementation of the global climate agreement (CORSIA) with a fair contribution for aviation
- Regulatory and proactive offsetting
- Supporting environmental programs
- Carbon offsetting for customers.
Our ambition for 2020 was to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% per passenger km compared to 2011. We achieved this objective in 2018 with a reduction of 21.6%.
In 2019, we set ourselves a tightened target for the year 2030: increasing energy efficiency by 50% compared to 2005 (in g. of CO2/passenger/km including market-based measures). In 2019, we achieved a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions compared to 2005 (based on operational measures and market-based measures) and a 20% reduction taking into account only the operational measures.
To avoid air traffic growth contributing to an increase in CO2 emissions, the aviation industry was the first economic sector to define ambitious long-term reduction targets and to set up a carbon offsetting scheme at global level within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to guarantee carbon-neutral growth in global air transportation from 2020.
We endorse these targets and support the implementation of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) to achieve them. This global market-based mechanism (MBM) addresses any annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. CORSIA aims to supplement the basket of mitigation measures that rely on technical and operational improvements already deployed by the international aviation industry, with advancements in the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels.
While international aviation is not particularly included in the Paris Climate Agreement, the industry’s efforts respond to the target of limiting the global temperature increase to below 2°C. In its Energy Technology Perspectives 2017, the International Energy Agency considers that the airline industry’s target for 2050 is more ambitious than what would be required for a 2°C scenario (2°C Scenario – 2DS) and close to a scenario of beyond 2°C (Beyond 2°C Scenario – B2DS).
During the Paris Air Show in June 2019, we reaffirmed our commitment, alongside all the French air transportation players – Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), ADP Group, Fédération Nationale de l’Aviation Marchande, Union des Aéroports Français – to combatting climate change.
CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION MEASURES
For air transportation, the impact of climate change could have consequences for the routes and destinations served, and affect flight operations (re-routing, flight cancellations, delays, etc.).
The flexibility in our fleet composition, the size of our network and the variety of destinations contribute to resilience of our business model. To adapt to the already occurring impact of climate change such as more frequent extreme weather events, we have policies that ensure safe operational and passenger handling conditions and we regularly conduct comprehensive risk analyses to optimize those.
We have developed special training programs for our employees on the management of emergencies, and work together with airports on this topic. When necessary, we deploy commercial measures to enable customers to defer their travel or change their destination.
MOBILIZING PARTNERS AND SUPPORTING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
We are mobilizing the industry and are committed to research on and development of innovative solutions, in both design, aeronautical and engines maintenance and navigation tools, and in Sustainable Aviation Fuels.
In 2018, the Dutch airline industry presented the “Smart and Sustainable” plan of action to make aviation more sustainable. Twenty transport organizations and knowledge institutions joined forces to accelerate existing developments that will make aviation more sustainable. The ambition is to reduce total CO2 emissions from the Dutch airline industry to the level of 2005. This is in addition to the substantial carbon reductions that civil aviation realizes through the EU Emissions Trading System and the global UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) that give substance to the Paris Agreement objectives. In 2019, a progress report was published.
In December 2019, Air France announced the signature of a partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation, to promote the identification and rapid implementation of economically and environmental viable solutions for aviation. Air France and the Solar Impulse Foundation are calling for clean, efficient and profitable solutions to accelerate the environmental transition of the aviation sector.
The PROGNOS solution, deployed by Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, has already obtained the Solar Impulse Label.
- This predictive analysis program is based on harnessing big data technologies to offer an effective and innovative aeronautics maintenance service.
- The environmental benefits of PROGNOS stem from reducing flight cancellations leading to extra flights to recover grounded passengers, as well as reducing the number of Quick Return Flights (return of the aircraft to its departure airport) on technical alerts, which require fuel tanks to be emptied prior to landing.
- It also optimizes overall aircraft fuel consumption by monitoring the status of equipment more precisely.
At the end of 2019, Air France invited partners, experts, high-profile individuals, innovation players and business leaders to participate in a round table on the theme ‘Acting Together For Responsible Travel’ (Agir ensemble pour un voyage responsable). This meeting, supported by figures and concrete examples, aimed at outlining the airline’s commitment to reduce its impact of on the environment and to mobilize players around responsible travel.
With an open letter published on June 29, 2019, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines reached out to stakeholders in aviation to join forces in the development of sustainable solutions for the industry. Under the name ‘Fly Responsibly’, KLM invited airlines, partners, customers and employees alike, to share in KLM’s existing sustainability practices and tools, and provide KLM with their respective insights in return.
PRINCIPLES OF THE TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE-RELATED FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is set up by the G20 in December 2015 during the United Nations COP21 conference to draft recommendations for financial and non-financial companies to use in the public disclosure of the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities. These recommendations, which are applicable across all sectors and can be included in existing financial reports, aim to increase the transparency between companies and investors, thereby reducing investment risks and reconciling short-term financial decisions with the longer-term consequences of climate change.
In 2019, the Group realized the TCDF Climate Maturity Assessment developed by KPMG, to evaluate the concordance of its environmental reporting with the principles of the TCDF. As a result, we have decided to become an official supporter of the TCFD principles and committed to support further developing knowledge and reporting.