IATA announces the first-of-its-kind, industry-developed passenger CO2 calculation methodology

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), has announced the launch of the IATA Recommended Practice Per-Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology – the first-of-its-kind tool to quantify CO2 emissions per passenger for a specific flight.

That being said, there are other C02-offset options available already in the aviation circle, although the measurements are generic at best and do not take into account the various efficiency(s) of different aircraft models, cargo loading, the actual weight or the very recent introduction of sustainable aviation fuels.

TravelDailyNews International

How relevant is the need for an accurate C02 emission calculation method?

As travellers, corporate travel managers, and travel agents are increasingly demanding precise flight CO2 emission information, an accurate and standardized calculation methodology is critical. This is particularly true in the corporate sector where such calculations are needed to underpin voluntary emissions reductions targets. Additionally, there are global climate-change targets that need to be met too.

Representative | Environmental Science Associates

Airlines have worked together through IATA to develop an accurate and transparent methodology using verified airline operational data. This provides the most accurate CO2 calculation for organizations and individuals to make informed choices about flying sustainably. This includes decisions on investing in voluntary carbon offsetting or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General
Willie Walsh | Prensa Latina

Here’s how IATA’s CO2-emission calculations are worked out:

  • Guidance on fuel measurement, aligned with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
  • Clearly defined scope to calculate CO2 emissions to airlines’ flying activities 
  • Guidance on non-CO2 related emissions and Radiative Forcing Index (RFI)
  • Weight-based calculation principle: allocation of CO2 emission by passenger and belly cargo
  • Guidance on passenger weight, using actual and standard weight
  • Emissions Factor for conversion of jet fuel consumption to CO2, fully aligned with CORSIA
  • Cabin class weighting and multipliers to reflect different cabin configurations of airlines
  • Guidance on SAF and carbon offsets as part of the CO2 calculation

Therefore, effectively, this tool allows comparing different flights of different airlines to see which option is the most sustainable, to begin with, rather than just allowing passengers to calculate their CO2 emissions to offset them accurately.

The plethora of carbon calculation methodologies with varying results creates confusion and dents consumer confidence. Aviation is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. By creating an accepted industry standard for calculating aviation’s carbon emissions, we are putting in place essential support to achieve this goal. The IATA Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology is the most authoritative tool and it is ready for airlines, travel agents, and passengers to adopt

added Walsh



Related Articles