• Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

Emissions from the airline industry are skyrocketing

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Jul 29, 2022

While Canada lags far behind Europe and the UK in tackling carbon pollution from aviation, the country’s next 10-year climate plan for the sector must be developed with public input and apply a target of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030, according to climate advocates.

“Canada has been giving its aviation industry a free ride on climate change for too long,” write Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair of ClimateFast and Joe Vipond, President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) in a recent editorial. for the Ottawa Citizen.

They add that Canada’s 2012 aviation action plan “was developed solely with the airline industry, required no reductions in climate emissions by 2050, has no credible plan to do so, and enabled emissions from this sector to increase by 35%. ”

Expected in September, the updated plan is “once again being developed without public consultation”, they write, raising fears it will fail to reduce emissions from the climate pollution source to the fastest growing in Canada.

The David Suzuki Foundation has a pre-written letter urging Federal Transportation and Environment Ministers Omar Alghabra and Steven Guilbeault to mandate a reduction in aviation emissions.

Meanwhile, the global aviation industry is increasingly adept at paying lip service to the need to reduce emissions, while focusing its real efforts on the continued turbulence of post-pandemic supply and demand issues. , writes the New York Times. The sector has made countless concerted, continuous and self-serving efforts to undermine or delay emissions reduction efforts.

In Canada, “Canadian airline emissions increased by 75% between 2005 and 2019 to over 22 million tonnes per year; equivalent to the emissions of five million passenger vehicles,” say Adamson and Vipond.

“More than half of global aviation emissions are produced by 1% of super-emitters – people who travel monthly or take more than three long-haul flights a year,” they add, while ” around 90% of the world’s population – including the vast majority of people in developing countries most affected by climate change hardly ever fly.

Not holding the Canadian aviation industry accountable for its emissions has national and international consequences, Doris Greenspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, said in a ClimateFast press release. “Every sector of our society must be transformed if we are to preserve a livable planet for our children. Air transport is no exception.

“That’s why more than 30 health, environmental, faith-based and youth groups are calling on the federal government to ensure its new aviation emissions action plan halts the growth of emissions from the fuel industry. air transport,” write Adamson and Vipond.

Canada has given its aviation industry a free ride on climate change for too long.

-Lyn Adamson, co-chair of ClimateFast and Joe Vipond, president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

While Canada has no 2030 airline targets, Denmark has pledged to achieve 100% fossil fuel-free domestic flights by 2030, while the Netherlands plans to cut emissions to 2005 levels by the end of the decade, according to the editorial. France bans short-haul flights, while the UK has explored a tax on “frequent travelers”.

But Carbon Brief recently reported that the UK may not be the best model to consider for aviation emissions planning. The government’s strategy, casually dubbed ‘Jet Zero’, aims to address what its own Climate Change Committee (CCC) has repeatedly warned is a critical gap in its national climate strategy. .

Although Jet Zero promises net zero aviation by 2050, the promise will depend on still uncertain “breakthroughs” in sustainable aviation fuels and zero-emission aircraft, says Carbon Brief.

And while electric planes could soon be flying in airspace near you, writes Canary Media, their impact on emissions will be ‘tiny’: Battery limitations mean these planes won’t be able to replace heavy planes at long-range that produce the “vast majority” of aviation emissions.

In the absence of real technological advances, UK aviation emissions will rise by 14 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from 2018 levels by 2050 under Jet Zero, with passenger numbers rising by 70 % by 2050 relative to 2021 levels.

Even if promised technological breakthroughs materialize, emissions from the sector would still amount to 19 megatonnes of CO2e in 2050, emissions that would need to be mechanically removed from the atmosphere for the UK to reach its net zero target.

But “disposal technologies are still in their infancy, and it’s unclear whether they will develop sufficiently,” says Carbon Brief.

The UK’s aviation strategy also strongly opposes efforts to reduce demand for flights or the expansion of airports. “Our approach to decarbonizing aviation will focus on rapidly developing technologies,” say the authors of Jet Zero. “Our analysis shows that the sector can achieve jet zero without the need for government intervention directly to limit aviation growth.”

This approach runs directly counter to CCC’s recommendations, notes Carbon Brief: Aviation demand would be limited to growth of no more than 25% by 2050, compared to 2018 levels.”

This article is republished from The Energy Mix. Read the original article.