Environment and aviation, a gap between aspirations and reality

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By Vincent Valery


Jan. 20, 2020, © Leeham News: Talks about climate change and the need to reduce human-induced carbon emissions are nowadays a daily occurrence in Western media. After years of faster-than-trend growth in global passenger numbers, aviation-induced carbon emissions commensurably increased in spite of record deliveries in latest-generation, fuel-efficient planes.

As a result of this growth, airlines have been one of the main targets of environmental groups. The high growth culminated in the start of the flight-shame movement that originated in Sweden (flygskam). As outlined in a previous LNA article, there are discussions about introducing a jet fuel tax for all flights within the European Union.

Credit: Zunum Aero

Credit: Zunum Aero

Airbus is committed to the “decarbonization” of its next airplane design.

Boeing’s next move for a new airplane has been sidetracked by the 737 MAX crisis.

Embraer is devoting considerable effort to developing a “green” airplane.

  • Airlines and politicians on the back foot;
  • Variety of opinion among regions;
  • And airlines make consensus-building hard;
  • An obsession with one way to reduce emissions;
  • Flybe's bailout summarizes contradictions and challenges.

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