Why “flying less” offers the best path to sustainable aviation

(Transport and Environment, 8 Mar 2022) Transport & Environment (T&E) publishes its “Roadmap to climate neutral aviation”.

Aviation in Europe has a climate problem. Aviation traffic grew 67% between 2005 and 2019 and its CO2 emissions by 24%.  Unless we take action now, aviation emissions are projected to grow by a further 38% from 2019 to 2050, even with aircraft efficiency improvements. 

How can we solve this problem? Progress in technology, coupled with lessons learned during the pandemic mean there now exists a path to green aviation in Europe. 

That pathway starts with frequent fliers not making the problem worse. The two pillars of this approach are an end to airport expansion in Europe, which has driven much of the growth in emissions, and a reduction in corporate travel to 50% of pre-Covid levels. That reduction in business travel can cut CO2 emissions by as much as 32.6 MtCO2 by 2030, equivalent to taking 16 million polluting cars off the road.

But demand reduction won’t be enough to get us to climate neutral aviation by 2050. To get there, we need a range of binding measures. 

External link

Transport and Environment, 8 Mar 2022: Why “flying less” offers the best path to sustainable aviation