Remove CO₂ from the atmosphere
Absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere
Our priority is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, primarily those generated directly by our operations, but also upstream and downstream of our activities. In addition, we support projects that absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere in natural carbon sinks (forests, mangroves).
Therefore, our objective of net zero emissions by 2050 will involve, in this order -
- First, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to a level in line with scientific benchmarks,
- Then, atmospheric absorption of a quantity of CO₂ equivalent to residual emissions at that date
We act by supporting tree planting projects certified by the most demanding labels (such as Verra and Gold Standard) and by proposing a voluntary contribution by customers.
PROJECTS WITH ECOACT
Air France supports several reforestation and tree planting projects in collaboration with its partner EcoAct, such as:
- the International Small Group and Tree Planting programme, in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, helping small groups of farmers to organise themselves to plant trees on their farms
- a Gold Standard-certified reforestation programme in the Vichada region of Colombia, certified to the Gold Standard, aimed at planting 76,000 hectares of hardwood while protecting local biodiversity. Air France offers its corporate customers the opportunity to voluntarily contribute to this project, by offsetting all or part of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their trip.
CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF MANGROVES
Air France, in collaboration with the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, is supporting a research-action programme for the conservation and restoration of mangroves in the Martinique, as part of the French Low Carbon Label. Mangroves are tropical coastal forest formations which, in addition to harbouring a very rich biodiversity, represent a very efficient carbon capture and sequestration sink. They can store 2 to 5 times more carbon per hectare than a tropical forest. However, they are currently under threat, disappearing at a rate of up to 2% each year. This project aims to improve knowledge of the ecosystem services provided by these environments and to carry out actions to replant mangroves in the French overseas departments and territories.
In partnership with Ecoact, Air France also supports projects to combat deforestation in Brazil, the development of renewable energies in India (Verified Carbon Standard certified) and improved cooking ovens in Kenya (Gold Standard certified). These projects do not in any way absorb CO2from the atmosphere, but they do allow action to be taken on major sources of emissions. For example, deforestation is generally accompanied by burning, which generates significant CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Combating deforestation thus makes it possible to avoid additional CO2 emissions, while at the same time protecting the fauna and flora in their natural environments.
Our individual customers can also choose to support reforestation projects, through the Trip & Tree programme. Air France is a partner of the association A Tree for You, which connects donors with tree-planting projects around the world in a completely transparent manner. When purchasing an airline ticket, customers can make a donation to finance one of the reforestation projects in France and around the world.
Since January 2022, on the Air France website, our customers have been able to support these CO2 absorption projects and make a voluntary contribution to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel. Through their participation, they are reducing the carbon footprint of their trip, while contributing to the development of the production channels for this fuel, which is key to the sector's transition.
There is no such thing as a carbon-neutral flight, just as any product or service that defines itself as carbon-neutral undermines the definition of carbon neutrality.
Carbon neutrality can be defined as the balance between human CO₂ emissions and their absorption. In this respect, carbon neutrality can only be envisaged on a global scale. Air France can only contribute to carbon neutrality by reducing its CO₂ emissions and by helping to increase the capacity to store CO2 in natural or artificial sinks.
Trees contribute to enriching and restructuring the ground by capturing atmospheric CO₂, nourishing soil life and anchoring itself to the soil with its roots. This therefore helps to combat soil degradation, depletion and erosion. Trees, together with other plants, therefore effectively combat desertification.
The voluntary contribution to the A Tree for you programme is:
- Simple and transparent: A Tree for You provides the price breakdown of the trees, the people involved in the project, the work schedule, the geolocation of plantations, and in the same way for all its projects. A Tree for You is a trusted third party.
- Traceable: donors can choose where they want to plant a tree and, after making their donation, join a social network dedicated to the project. They then receive updates about their trees for at least 3 years.
- Educational: each project details the species planted, the beneficiaries, the expected rate of loss, and the environmental and social benefits of the project, in order to raise donors' awareness of the challenges of forestry and agroforestry.