Missed Target: A brief history of aviation climate targets
11 May 2022
This report published in collaboration with Green Gumption assessed every public climate target which the international aviation industry set itself since 2000. We found that all but one of over 50 separate climate targets has either been missed, abandoned or simply forgotten about. The targets, which have been used by the aviation industry to successfully lobby policymakers to allow its ongoing growth, focused on CO2 efficiency or alternative fuels. The industry’s efficiency targets aligned closely with its cost reduction goals, but in all but one case (an unambitious target set by EasyJet for 2015) these targets were not reached. The industry’s targets for increasing use of alternative fuels were missed every single time, usually by orders of magnitude. Overall, the industry’s attempts to regulate its emissions and set its own targets suffered from a combination of unclear definitions, shifting goalposts, inconsistent reporting, a complete lack of public accountability and, in some cases, being quietly dropped altogether.