Aviation excuses simply will not fly

They embrace that IATA plans for no less than a doubling of world air passengers by 2050, vastly growing the dimensions of  the {industry}, simply as its local weather impacts want abating.

The plan focuses on makes an attempt to “decarbonise” aviation, but it surely utterly disregards the existence of aviation’s non-carbon dioxide (CO2) local weather impacts. Scientists agree that these different such results are roughly equal to the CO2 impacts, amounting to a doubling of the issue from the carbon emissions. Ignoring these signifies that IATA is popping a blind eye to half the issue.

Extra troubling nonetheless, below the plan, over the subsequent quick decade – a interval when it’s essential to scale back local weather impression – emissions and non-CO2 results will really enhance, solely being “off-set” by mechanisms that may have solely marginal results at finest, and at worst below lax regulatory programs for biofuels, might make issues worse.

From 2035 to 2050 the plan envisages a swap to biofuels, one thing that for aviation gasoline alone would require 3 times as a lot biofuels as the current, world manufacturing of all liquid biofuels.

Real looking

Such a growth would require huge quantities of land, endanger world biodiversity, put stress on meals manufacturing for human consumption and enhance dangers of land grabbing for crops for biofuel manufacturing.

Even when the plan succeeds by itself phrases, it’s going to go away the aviation {industry} inflicting as a lot local weather harm in 2050 as it’s immediately, whereas additionally taking on an enormous and far bigger share of the shrinking world carbon funds for this century.

To treatment the scenario, the New Climate Institute is looking on IATA and the Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, to draft, cross and implement a decision on industry-wide local weather motion that’s actually according to the Paris settlement, committing aviation to zero CO2emissions by 2050, together with non-CO2-effects.

It additionally needs to see an inquiry below the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC) on the dimensions of the aviation {industry} which – permitting for different sectors and aviation’s non-CO2 results – can be suitable with reaching the 1.5°C objective, with life like quick time period motion within the first decade to create a reputable pathway past 2030.


Whereas this occurs, governments ought to take quick motion to restrict the expansion of aviation by way of home, joint or unilateral measures, together with an embargo on the additional enlargement of the {industry}.

IATA’s plans are additionally a type of greenwash, making an attempt to current the {industry} as taking accountable motion on the local weather emergency when they’re doing the other.

Regardless of its gaping holes and lack of sound science IATA is presently advertising its “Fly Web Zero” scheme on its web site with the declare that the pledge targeted on being ‘internet zero’ by 2050 units world aviation “according to the targets of the Paris settlement to restrict world warming to 1.5°C.”

The New Climate Institute considers these claims to be unproven. This, we really feel, locations IATA in breach of the Advertising and Marketing Communications Code of the Worldwide Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and, in consequence, the Institute has filed a complaint with the (Swedish) regulator (Reklamombudsmannen) which has a large sufficient remit to have the ability to maintain IATA to account.

 These Authors

Andrew Simms is co-director of the New Weather Institute, coordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance, writer of a number of books on new and inexperienced economics and co-author of the unique Inexperienced New Deal. He’s on twitter at @AndrewSimms_uk.

Gunnar Lind is a co-founder of New Climate Sweden, and particular advisor to the previous Minister for the Setting and Local weather in Sweden, Isabella Lövin, the place he labored till February 2021. 


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