August 8, 2014
Global passenger demand will have to be substantially reduced in order for the aviation industry’s own target of carbon neutral growth from 2020 to be met according to new research by the University of Southampton’s Centre for Environmental Science.
The new study, which was published in the Atmospheric Environment journal, reviews the latest literature related to mitigating global CO2 emissions from aircraft.
The main findings of the research are:
As a significant part of our work involves working with the ICAO process, the AEF welcomes the report as being important to increase the pressure on the international body to finally deliver action on emissions from international aviation.
AEF Director Tim Johnson, who regularly attends ICAO meetings and is currently working to develop a form of carbon trading that could work for international aviation, commented:
“With environmental NGOs calling for urgent action to curtail aviation’s spiraling CO2 emissions, this report provides further evidence that the growth in demand for flights will outstrip technological and operational advances, reinforcing similar conclusions from the UK Committee on Climate Change and from the UN ICAO. So how do we close the gap?”
“While industry is currently engaged in finding a means of offsetting emissions through a global market-based measure, this report introduces the idea of using price to dampen demand. Unpalatable as this may seem to many, it may well prove to be a necessary step if the challenges in implementing other measures cannot be overcome.”
“For now, the focus is on ICAO to agree on urgent action by its next Assembly in 2016. The key ingredient to achieve this is international political agreement, which has been lacking in recent years. If this opportunity to agree on the introduction of an effective, global measure is missed, the calls for carbon charges will become even louder.”
Direct carbon dioxide emissions from civil aviation by Grote, M., Williams, I and Preston, J. (2014) is available for purchase here.
Image credit: Jeff Kubina via Flickr
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