Planes need to stop existing in a parallel universe when it comes to the climate fight
Curbing flight emissions is essential to meeting the Paris pact, but planes are completely absent from the text, face no legal fuel efficiency requirements or limits on CO2 emissions. But all that is about to change
In the coming weeks, the Paris climate agreement could be about to enter into force. Action to meet the deal’s targets of holding global warming to 2C is most clearly visible in the energy sector – where a low-carbon transition is underway. There is, however, one sector where, until now, action has been invisible owing to its exemption from contributing to the fight to limit carbon pollution: international aviation.
Aviation is one of the top-10 global carbon polluters. The industry emits more CO2 each year than the 129 countries with the lowest annual emissions. Worryingly, those emissions are expected to balloon by 300% if no concerted action is taken sooner rather than later. In 2010, 2.4 billion passengers travelled by plane, but by 2050 that number is expected to rise to 16 billion.
The global agreement reached in Paris last December committed the world’s governments to fighting climate change. Curbing aviation emissions is absolutely essential to fulfilling those commitments. However, aviation was conspicuous by its absence from the text.
Source: Guardian Transport