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Wed, 23 March 2022

IATA Establishes Industry Standard for Calculating Aviation's Carbon Emissions

(23 Mar 2022, 14:46 +07)  IATA announced the launch of the IATA Recommended Practice Per-Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology.

Using verified airline operational data, the methodology is designed to provide an accurate calculation for the industry to quantify CO2 emissions per passenger for a specific flight.

As travelers, corporate travel managers, and travel agents are increasingly demanding precise flight CO2 emission information, an accurate and standardized calculation methodology is critical. This is particularly true in the corporate sector where such calculations are needed to underpin voluntary emissions reductions targets.

Aircraft flying overhead with visible contrails. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Aircraft flying overhead with visible contrails. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Airlines have worked together through IATA to develop an accurate and transparent methodology using verified airline operational data. This provides the most accurate CO2 calculation for organizations and individuals to make informed choices about flying sustainably, including decisions on investing in voluntary carbon offsetting or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use, said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

IATAs methodology takes into account the following factors:

- Guidance on fuel measurement, aligned with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

- Clearly defined scope to calculate CO2 emissions in relation to airlines flying activities.

- Guidance on non-CO2 related emissions and Radiative Forcing Index (RFI).

- Weight based calculation principle: allocation of CO2 emission by passenger and belly cargo.

- Guidance on passenger weight, using actual and standard weight.

- Emissions Factor for conversion of jet fuel consumption to CO2, fully aligned with CORSIA.

- Cabin class weighting and multipliers to reflect different cabin configurations of airlines.

- Guidance on SAF and carbon offsets as part of the CO2 calculation.

The plethora of carbon calculation methodologies with varying results creates confusion and dents consumer confidence, added Walsh. Aviation is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. By creating an accepted industry standard for calculating aviations carbon emissions, we are putting in place essential support to achieve this goal. The IATA Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology is the most authoritative tool and it is ready for airlines, travel agents, and passengers to adopt.

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