Transport accounts for 24 per cent of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. Whilst aviation only contributes 2 per cent of current Greenhouse Gas emissions, it is under acute pressure as it is high growth and hard to decarbonise. Whilst fuel consumption per available seat kilometre has consistently fallen by 2 per cent annually, annual global growth of 5 per cent in international aviation volume means emissions have grown overall.
In this report, HSBC Global Research Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), airlines and data science teams collaborate to consider the response of EU and US airlines to the climate challenge. They searched through historical earnings call transcripts for European and US airlines to identify the frequency of climate discussion over the last 15 years, and looked at greenness across the industry. They expect the most significant opportunities to change the long-term environmental impact from aviation to come from the industrialisation of biofuels, and from an acceleration in technological developments.