Aviation

Tracking Clean Energy Progress

🕐 Last updated Thursday, 18 April 2019

What's changed?

Not on track

Both global passenger and freight activity have more than doubled since 2000, and demand for air travel is expected to remain strong in the future. To put aviation on track with the 2030 SDS target, an annual decrease of over 3% in energy intensity is necessary.


Energy intensity of international aviation

Energy intensity needs to decrease by over 3% annually to meet the SDS target.

	Energy intensity, international aviation	ICAO goal (2% annual improvement)	SDS Targets
2000	18.21		
2001	18.64		
2002	19.30		
2003	19.17		
2004	18.21		
2005	18.17		
2006	17.51		
2007	16.91		
2008	15.55		
2009	15.42		
2010	14.29		
2011	14.07		
2012	13.70		
2013	13.46		
2014	13.09		
2015	13.09		
2016	12.95	12.95	12.95
2020		11.94	11.74
2025		10.80	10.00
2030		9.76	8.47
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Note: RTK equivalent is calculated as the combination of RTK and RPK, considering 90 kg per passenger.


In order to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2050 relative to 2005 levels and achieve its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, the aviation industry will initiate the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) in 2021. This plan aims to achieve the necessary emissions reductions through the use of sustainable aviation biofuels or carbon offsetting. More than 100 000 commercial flights have already successfully flown on biofuel blends and several major airlines have committed to long-term biofuel purchase agreements.


Tracking progress

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also set a goal of reaching 1 billion passengers on flights fuelled by sustainable aviation biofuels by 2025. Realising this goal will require policy support to increase aviation biofuel production capacity and lower cost premiums over fossil jet kerosene.

To put aviation on track with SDS projections, an annual decrease of over 3% in specific energy consumption is necessary until 2030. The scale of this reduction would imply large-scale deployment of technology improvements for engines and improved aviation traffic management.


Updates to this page

  • 18 April, 2019: Aviation data revised to correctly account for the conversion from tonne-kilometres and passenger-kilometres to revenue tonne-kilometres, and tracking metrics updated to reflect this correction.