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  • MIT Joint Program

Airbus, LATAM Airlines Group fund study on options for decarbonizing aviation in Latin America

Airbus and LATAM Airlines Group have funded a study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

The study, entitled, "Options for Decarbonizing Aviation in Latin America in a sustainable way: an assessment of carbon policies, carbon prices and fuel consumption in aviation up to 2050," will provide a comprehensive analysis of scenarios for the deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) up to the year 2050 and explore pathways related to low-carbon hydrogen, direct air capture, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

Additionally, it will evaluate the use of incentives, carbon taxes and carbon offsets, among other quantifiable policy instruments, to compensate emissions in aviation.

“As a hard-to-abate sector with no comprehensive short-term solution, carbon neutrality by 2050 is not something the aviation industry can achieve on its own,” said Juan José Tohá, director of corporate affairs and sustainability at LATAM Airlines Group. “Progress is required to define and implement enabling conditions and policy frameworks for pathways such as SAF, operational efficiencies, new technologies and carbon offsetting in South America, while ensuring that this transition is sustainable and people are still able to afford and benefit from the connectivity that aviation provides. We hope that this study can guide and drive collaborative efforts to advance the decarbonization of the industry in the region.”

Guillaume Gressin, an executive with Airbus in the Latin America and Caribbean region, added, “Airbus is focused on reducing its own carbon emissions and is contributing to the ambition set by ICAO and ATAG for aviation to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. We intend to be a strategic actor in the implementation of this roadmap and welcome initiatives and policies that encourage efficiency and innovation, including ambitious targets to scale up SAF.”

MIT Joint Program investigators aim to publish results of the study in April 2024.

Their analysis will include actionable recommendations for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru on pathways for decarbonizing the aerospace sector.

An integrated team of natural and social scientists that studies complex interactions among co-evolving, interconnected global systems, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change produces comprehensive global and regional change projections under different environmental, economic and policy scenarios.

These projections enable decision makers in the public and private sectors to better assess impacts, and the associated costs and benefits of potential courses of action.



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