American Airlines Aims to Achieve Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050

Nov 9, 2022 2:05 PM ET
Climate goals chart that outlines climate goals listed in the text

Originally published in American Airlines 2021 ESG Report

At American, we know that the challenge of climate change is acute and imminent, and we recognize our industry’s contribution to it. We believe we have an obligation to our customers, team members, shareholders and the communities we serve to transition to operating a low-carbon airline. To make that happen, we have set aggressive climate goals that match the seriousness of the challenge, and we’ve laid out a clear plan for how we will achieve them.

Our aim is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and we have set an intermediate target to drive progress toward that goal. In April 2022, we received validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) that our intermediate 2035 GHG reduction target complies with the SBTi criteria. That makes us the first airline globally to achieve this milestone.

American’s science-based target is to reduce carbon intensity, which means GHG emissions per unit of passenger and cargo payload that the airline transports, by 45% by 2035, compared to a 2019 baseline. In setting this goal, we are committing to reduce the intensity associated with the entire life cycle emissions of jet fuel. This includes both direct emissions (Scope 1) — which are primarily from the jet fuel used in flight — and the emissions from the production of the jet fuel the airline uses (Scope 3).

In 2022, American became the first airline globally to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) that our 2035 GHG reduction target complies with the SBTi criteria.

American has also committed to reduce by 40% the emissions from the production of the electricity we purchase (Scope 2) by 2035, also with a 2019 baseline. Scope 2 emissions are a small part of our overall GHG emissions, but an important focus for reducing the impacts of global warming.

We are also engaging with and supporting efforts to drive broader action on climate across the public and private sectors. For example, American is a signatory to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, and we joined the United Nations-backed Race to Zero. We are also an anchor partner, together with other leading companies, of Breakthrough Energy Catalyst (see page 13). We know that our ability to achieve our climate goals depends on other actors — within the aviation industry and beyond it — and we intend to be a leader in helping drive the operational, policy and technological changes needed to advance the transition to a low-carbon economy.



  • Received SBTi validation for our 2035 GHG emissions reduction goal


  • Achieve absolute reduction of 50m gallons of jet fuel from fuelefficiency initiatives by 2025
  • Source 2.5m GJs of cost-competitive renewable energy by 2025
  • Replace 10% of our jet fuel with SAF by 2030
  • Reduce GHG emissions intensity by 45% by 2035
  • Reduce Scope 2 emissions by 40% by 2035
  • Achieve net zero emissions by 2050

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