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Unpublished report forecasts huge increase in aviation’s global environmental impacts

24th April, 2008

AEF has obtained a shock report predicting alarming increases in aviation’s impact on climate change emissions, airport noise and local air pollution. The study uses government-linked regulator databases from the US, Europe and UK, and had been prepared for the 7th US/Europe ATM R&D seminar held in Barcelona last summer. Seminar organisers turned it down, however, and until now it has remained unpublished.

Jeff Gazzard yesterday presented some of the report’s key findings to the All-party Parliamentary Sustainable Aviation Group. The study found that between 2000 and 2025 the rapid growth in aviation globally is set to generate massive environmental damage. The number of people affected by aircraft noise is forecast to rise from 24 million to 30.3 million, emissions of nitrogen oxides (causing air pollution around airports and at altitude) to rise from 2.5 million tonnes to 6.1 million tonnes, and the CO2 emissions from aviation to rise from 572 Mt in 2000 to 1229 Mt in 2025.

In contrast, meanwhile, to these new forecasts of unremitting environmental harm from aviation, the latest UK Department for Transport’s projection of future aviation emissions, set out in November 2007 in the UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts, contains a 2050 figure for aviation CO2 of 60.3 million tonnes – a miraculous reduction of 46.5 MtCO2 compared with the Dft’s forecast in 2004 that by 2050 aviation emissions could total 106.8 million tonnes, and a reduction of 105.2 MtCO2 compared with the Defra’s 2006 projection that emissions could be as high as 165.5 million tonnes by 2050!

AEF is very concerned that this seems to indicate a new government policy of carbon rendition, and will be taking this up through the appropriate channels.

The press release is available by clicking here.

Click here for the full report on Trends in Global Noise and Emissions from Commercial Aviation for 2000 through 2025.

For AEF’s comment on the UK Air Passenger Demand and Carbon Dioxide Forecasts, see UK Air Passenger Demand Forecast and UK Aviation CO2 Emissions Forecast.