'Unfair' to attack air passengers over climate change, says Airbus CEO

Guillaume Faury says the aviation sector only accounts for 2-2.5% of global CO2 emissions

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. Courtesy: Airbus

The CEO of Airbus believes it is “unfair” that the aviation industry has been targeted by climate change operators when it only contributes a small percentage of the overall carbon dioxide emissions and is making positive steps to build more environmental aircraft.

“The impact of planes on the environment is quite new and to some extent is quite unfair because we are 2 percent to 2.5 percent of the CO2 emissions. It’s recently become very trendy to attack people travelling by plane. There is a lot of lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of data, that’s the part that I don’t like and think we need to do more in terms of explaining,” Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus told Arabian Business in an interview in Paris.

“That being said, 2 percent is 2 percent and we have to take it very seriously. What I like with [environmental] movements is that they raise attention and force us to take it seriously, which we do, and which we like to do. This being said, we don’t need agitation, we don’t need wrong information or misunderstanding of the situation. We need a global framework to be able to invest and we need a move to decarbonise the primary sources of energy,” he said, adding that other less profile industries should also be held to account, without the focus always being on aviation.

“I was in the car business 10-years ago and the scapegoat was the diesel. Things are changing with time, I think we need to explain better as an industry what our carbon footprint is. People who are flying in planes are challenge by some people who are using internet, telephones and so on, they don’t realise these industries are far more carbon emitting than aviation.”

Faury pointed out that the industry wants to be in a position by 2050 where CO2 emission levels are substantially lower than they are now.

“A plane flying in 2050 will have a CO2 emission 90 percent lower than in 2005. These are not the same planes. Why? Because we are developing those technologies. We believe it will take three, four, five years to develop some of those technologies, then start the development somewhere in the mid of the second half of the decade to have planes entering into service before 2035 and we will start to decarbonise big time from 2035 onwards,: he said.

Read the full interview with Guillaume Faury here.

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