Ben Smith: KLM Air France takes the health of the planet very seriously

A question was asked on behalf of environmental organization FossielVrij. The questioner wondered why the growth plans of Air France-KLM were discussed during the meeting, while its planes pollute the climate. “Continuing on this path leads to loss, and ultimately the loss of all lives on Earth.” Instead, the airline group should “finally admit” that its business model is not sustainable after all.

According to Smith, the idea of ​​not flying at all is out of the question. “It would be negative for all of our stakeholders and benefit nobody,” he said. But “steps must definitely be taken” to reduce the impact on the climate, even though Air France-KLM is already ahead of other major airlines, according to Smith.

Old hardware
Smith said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday that KLM Air France is replacing more of its aging long-haul aircraft with more fuel-efficient planes. Replacements are expected to take place in 2025 or later.

Another blame is that KLM Air France is not complying with the agreements in the Paris Climate Agreement. KLM’s most senior woman, Marjane Rentel, disagreed, even though she stated the airline should cut emissions faster. But our reduction plans are in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

With these plans, Air France-KLM will end up with global warming “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. This was also stated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which assesses and monitors corporate targets for carbon dioxide reduction based on climate science.

Rintel greenwashing
However, according to Per de Riek of Milieudefensie, Rintel is “deliberately greenwashing”. With KLM’s goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent in 2030 compared to 2019, “the Paris climate agreement is going nowhere.” According to Milieudefensie, this should be a 45 percent reduction. Critics also point out that the 30 percent reduction is a relative target, measured per kilometer flown. In absolute numbers, KLM aims to cut emissions by 12 percent.

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Megan Vasquez

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