Fexco picks up Pace on measuring aviation’s emissions

Kerry fintech involved in joint venture to calculate how much carbon planes emit

Being a centre of world aviation is less attractive when aircraft are fingered as one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Being a centre of world aviation is less attractive when aircraft are fingered as one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Ireland has grown into a major centre in the global aviation industry since Tony Ryan founded Guinness Peat Aviation in 1975. About six out of every 10 leased aircraft in the world is owned by Irish-based lessors while, on the airlines side of things, Ryanair is the fastest growing in Europe.

But what has for many years been a source of pride for Ireland has, in recent years, started to look more like a problem as the world’s governments contemplate the measures that are required to fight climate change. Being a centre of world aviation is less attractive when aircraft are fingered as one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world.

Aviation is estimated to be worth between 2 and 3 per cent of global emissions. Prior to the pandemic, output was growing strongly as people got richer and flew more regularly and further. It is envisaged that as carbon output is slowed and eventually reversed in other parts of society, aviation’s share will rise and rise in coming years. This could be problematic for Ireland’s emissions targets.

In order to tackle a problem, first it must be measured. Fexco, a Kerry financial services group, has partnered with UK and US-based consultancy, Avocet Risk Management, to launch Pace (platform for analysing carbon emissions), a tech system that they say allows airlines and lessors to accurately measure how much carbon their fleets generate. It combines flight data with aircraft information to give a readout per plane, per flight or per fleet.

Aviation lessors have previously suggested that fleets with lower emissions may be cheaper to finance in future, which is as big an incentive as the industry can get. Meanwhile, taxes on air travel will be linked more closely to carbon output. Systems such as Pace may have a role to play in providing accurate data.

It will be interesting to see if Pace gains traction in the sector. As an island, it is imperative for Ireland that solutions are found to help bring down emissions in aviation.

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