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How Will Canada Achieve a Net-Zero Aviation Sector?

October 13, 2022
Net Zero Canada

The sky is the limit for Canada’s government, aiming high to achieve net-zero emissions!


Air transit is vital in connecting Canadians to each other, along with the rest of the world. It also remains an integral part of domestic and international trade that foster’s Canada’s economic growth. However, with the climate crisis’ “point of no return” rapidly approaching, it is crucial to embrace innovative solutions for a sustainable aviation sector. On September 27, 2022, the Canadian Government revealed an updated “Canada’s Aviation Climate Action Plan” (the Action Plan) for the period of 2022-2030. This plan stems from collective efforts to create a tangible net-zero GHG emissions Canadian aviation industry, and furthermore identifies the key actions necessary to achieve this.


Transportation, economy and climate should go hand-in-hand. Canada’s Aviation Climate Action Plan is a good example of how we can come together to set a net-zero emission vision and lay out the actions needed to get us on the right path. Our government will engage with key stakeholders and the public to implement the activities in the Action Plan and explore additional measures to reduce pollution.”

The Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport


Net-Zero Pathways

These key actions take shape in the form of four net-zero pathways presented in the “Action Plan” report. These pathways are fundamental for achieving zero emissions for the aviation sector, both domestically and internationally, by 2050.


Development and Adoption of New Green Aerospace Technology

This is a key driver in the reduction of long-term emissions. There are multiple federal programs with funds invested in innovative aerospace technologies, including but not limited to electric, hybrid, and hydrogen propulsion aircrafts. 


Improved Operations

Operations both on the ground and in the air stand to be improved through coordination of efforts between the Canadian government and airlines, airports, and third-party owners and operators. For example, optimization of air traffic management could be achieved through adoption of electric ground equipment and green infrastructure. However, these efforts must be supported by relevant stakeholders


Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs)

Without widespread access and use of SAFs, the net-zero target for 2050 is essentially rendered unattainable. Subsequently, an alternative jet fuel with a smaller carbon footprint is a key priority. This pathway aspires for 10% SAF use by 2030.  


Out of Sector Reductions

The residual emissions can be addressed through the utilization of offsets. For example, the ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation will offset a portion of emotions from international flights.


In addition to these key actions, other supporting and enabling measures are much needed to ensure the net-zero by 2050 vision is achieved. Coordination by relevant stakeholders, both domestically and internationally is imperative. Canada must continue to work towards advancing solutions that address air transit’s environmental impact and aim for a net-zero GHG emissions future.


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