Launched by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and joined by a number of leading aviation industry partners, the Target True Zero initiative will identify ways to accelerate zero-emissions aviation by leveraging electric and hydrogen technologies.
With growing pressure to reduce emissions across all sectors, there is renewed focus in aviation to implement strategies to reduce its environmental impact. Earlier this year, major airlines committed to net zero and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), while several European governments have introduced laws and proposed mandates related to SAF and zero-emissions aircraft.
Existing majors are already increasingly investing in all-electric planes. For instance, Airbus is working on zero-emission commercial aircraft expected to be operational by 2035, and Boeing is pursuing certification of a battery-electric aircraft and has committed to 100% SAF capability on all its planes by 2030.
Aviation contributes to about 2.5% of CO2 emissions globally, and its overall contribution to global warming is even higher — about 3.5% — due to releasing other gases and pollutants into the atmosphere. Additionally, the market is expected to grow 7.6% to $303 billion by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence, a market research firm.
Partners alongside WEF in the Target True Zero initiative include Airbus, Alaska Airlines, Ampaire, Boeing, Easyjet, Embraer, Eve Air Mobility, Gulfstream, Joby Aviation, MagniX, Rolls-Royce, Schiphol, Surf Air, Universal Hydrogen, Wright Electric and Zeroavia, McKinsey and Company, the Aviation Impact Accelerator at the University of Cambridge, and the Aviation Environment Federation. Additional financial support is being provided by the Quadrature Climate Foundation and Breakthrough Energy.
The Target True Zero initiative will examine zero-emission aviation in the areas of technology, industry dynamics, infrastructure, supply chain, regulation, and public acceptance. Findings and an industry roadmap will be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow later this year.