FORT WORTH, Texas — Last summer, American Airlines publicly committed to developing a science-based interim goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — the first airline in North America to do so.
Today, the airline is proud to announce that the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a coalition that sets and promotes best practices in emissions reduction targets, has endorsed the US goal of 2035 as meeting the levels required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. . This makes American the first airline in the world with an SBTi-endorsed science lens.
What does that mean
A science-based target is one that matches the level that climatologists predict is needed to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. SBTi explains it best: science-based goals provide a clearly defined path to reduce GHG emissions, ensuring that business goals align with what the latest science deems necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
The SBTi assessed the airline’s submission against a rigorous set of criteria to assess whether it matches efforts to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Nearly 3,000 companies worldwide have committed to setting science-based targets and just over 1,300 have SBTi-endorsed targets.
What this means for us
American’s science-based goal is to reduce carbon intensity, or GHG emissions per unit of passenger and cargo payload the airline carries, by 45% by 2035. against a 2019 baseline. This interim goal will serve as a checkpoint on the road to 2050, when American aims to be a net zero airline.
By setting this target, the airline commits to reducing both direct emissions – which mainly come from the jet fuel used in flight – and emissions from the production of the jet fuel used by the airline.
American also commits to reducing emissions from airline purchased power generation by 40% (scope 2) by 2035, also with a 2019 baseline. global GHG emissions, but an important objective to reduce the impacts of global warming.
Achieving the 2035 target will require continued focus and concerted effort from the entire airline to implement its sustainability strategy. Success will rely on a multitude of solutions – some controlled by the airline, such as fleet renewal and operational efficiency, and some not, such as the availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and the development of new generation aircraft.
Accountability is key. As American heads into 2035, the airline will track and report progress on an annual basis in its ESG report.
What this means for aviation
American the world’s first airline with an approved scientific purpose, but it won’t be the last. Currently, 16 airlines around the world – including US partner IAG and a few US competitors – have also committed to setting science-based targets. Despite the daunting challenges facing all airlines to reduce emissions in a carbon-intensive business, these commitments demonstrate the aviation industry’s collective desire to create a future in which the impact of air travel on the environment is much less than it is today.
What does this mean to you
You can travel with confidence when you fly with American, knowing that the airline’s commitment to sustainability is tied to ambitious goals that have been verified by industry experts. American believes that a world worth traveling is a world worth protecting, and every action it takes to become a more sustainable airline is aimed at achieving one destination: net-zero.
What else do you need to know
To learn more about the actions American is taking to reduce emissions and meet its sustainability goals, visit aa.com/sustainability.
About American Airlines Group
American’s purpose is to care for people on Life’s Journey®. American Airlines Group Inc. shares trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and logging on Do you with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and on Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.