Airbus is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its planes by half between now and 2020, company chief executive Louis Gallois said June 14. Gallois also appealed to Airbus competitor Boeing to take part in an industry conference on protecting the environment.
"The industry must do everything it can to ensure that the contribution to worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by air transport does not increase from 2% to 3% as planned," Gallois said. "Starting in 2008 Airbus will increase its budget for research and technology by 25%" as part of an effort to ensure that by 2020 all new Airbus aircraft will emit half the amount of carbon dioxide released at present. Airbus currently spends 350 million euros (US$466 million) on research and technology.
Gallois said that in the manufacturer's industrial and production operations the goal is also to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2020 and to cut energy consumption by 30%.
"I call on our partners, our suppliers and our competitors to forge a common vision on how to become a green industry, for new ideas will only spring from a common effort by all the key players," Gallois said.
On June 13 the EU executive approved a draft proposal on "clean skies" aimed at reducing aircraft emissions and noise.