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Aviation ambition

30 september 2019 - Xandra Weinbeck - CMO

Blog

AMBITION IS TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS FROM AIRPLANES, REALITY IS THAT EMISSIONS GROW RAPIDLY

Modern airplanes use kerosene and emit CO2 as they burn kerosene in their jet engines. Flying is therefore one of the human activities that contributes to global warming. Direct emissions from aviation are more than 2% of worldwide emissions.

Kerosene usage by the aviation industry is set to grow by approximately 2.5 – 3.5% every year for the next 30 years in Europe. For these figures we take into account the growth in passengers and freight and we compensate for efficiency gains. Compared to 2017, kerosene usage would easily double towards 2050 and could even rise to up to 5 times current levels, if efficiency gains would not be realised. Already in 2009 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) set a goal to halve CO2 emissions by 2050 with respect to 2005. Without additional measures projections are a factor of 6 – 10 times worse than what IATA is aiming for.

Set ambitions in the aviation sector, as of yet, depend on new break-through measures as far as emission reduction is concerned. As a society we do not seem to want to give up our freedom to travel long distances nor our desire to get packages from around the globe on our doorstep quickly. So if we do not want to fly less, we need to find a solution that meets – and ultimately goes beyond – IATA’s long-term target.

[source: Quintel and Kalavasta have explored many pathways towards a carbon neutral society. Report carbon neutral aviation.]

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