Members of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), including GE Aviation, have adopted the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a long-term climate goal. With this step, the members reaffirmed the aviation industry's commitment to reduce carbon emissions in support of the Paris Agreement's 1,5ºC target. This step is considered as a continuation of the sector target set in 2009.
To achieve the long-term net zero carbon target, the industry needs to come together and deploy revolutionary technologies to reduce emissions and support greater use of alternative fuels such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and hydrogen.
John S. Slattery, President and CEO of GE Aviation, commented: “GE Aviation is developing major technology solutions to reduce the environmental impact of flights, such as open fan, hybrid electric and new engine core designs. By joining forces more broadly with the aviation industry to deliver on the commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we can achieve these results faster than a single company could."
To meet this challenge, GE Aviation is accelerating emissions-reducing technologies in aircraft propulsion systems. kazanHe is working on a variety of engine technology test vehicles. The CFM RISE* (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) Program carried out in cooperation with Safran and the Electric Driveline Flight Test projects conducted with NASA are two important examples of these studies. In addition, GE, which has been actively involved in assessment and competency studies related to SAF since 2007, continues to work closely with SAF manufacturers, regulatory authorities and operators in order to ensure that SAF-type fuels are widely used in aviation.
In the ATAG statement, the sector states that significant reductions in carbon emissions will be achieved with the combination of new technologies such as the possibility of switching to electricity and hydrogen for short flights, operations and infrastructure improvements, and the transition to SAF. For other emissions, carbon removal measures can be used.
Haldane Dodd, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ATAG, said: “In line with the need for all sectors of the economy to continue their challenging climate action activities, aviation has strengthened its work on this issue. Despite going through one of the biggest crises in its history, this new agreement for the aviation industry demonstrates how priority climate action is. Although reaching the net zero carbon target by 2050 will challenge all of us, it seems that it is possible to achieve this goal with the right support from governments and with the right efforts in the value chain, especially in the energy sector.”
GE recently announced its intention to become one of the net zero emissions companies by 3, including Scope 2050 emissions from the use of products sold. GE has previously made a commitment to be carbon neutral, including Scope 2030 and Scope 1 emissions, in its facilities and operations by 2.
GE's technology investments
GE Aviation announced that it has made some technology investments that will help the company and the industry meet their climate goals.
GE Aviation, which has started a new partnership with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced on October 1 that it has launched a new program to mature an integrated hybrid electric powertrain in the megawatt class. This program aims to demonstrate that a hybrid electric propulsion system is ready for use in a single-aisle aircraft, with ground and air tests to be conducted in the mid-2020s.
In addition, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in September 2010 that GE Aviation has been awarded the Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) award for the third time since 2021. The fund supports GE's development of open fan, electrification, acoustics and other technologies, and research into alternative jet fuels such as SAF.
GE Aviation and Safran launched the CFM RISE Program in June 2021, which aims to achieve at least 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today's most efficient engines.
GE's Italian subsidiary Avio Aero has contributed to the development and testing of open fan motor architectures by supporting Europe's Clean Sky research programme.