The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched its Recommended Practice Per-Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology.

This uses verified airline operational data to quantify precise and standardised details of CO2 emissions per passenger for a specific flight, to inform travellers, corporate travel managers and travel agents and help achieve emissions reductions targets. “This includes decisions on investing in voluntary carbon offsetting or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use,” said Willie Walsh, IATA's director general.

The methodology covers: guidance on fuel measurement, aligned with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA); clearly defined scope to calculate CO2 emissions in relation to flying activities; guidance on non-CO2 related emissions and Radiative Forcing Index (RFI); and weight-based calculation of CO2 emission by passenger and belly cargo. It also looks at 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 aircraft; and guidance on SAF and carbon offsets as part of CO2 calculation

“The plethora of carbon calculation methodologies with varying results creates confusion and dents consumer confidence,” said Walsh. “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.”