Co2 Emissions in the Air Travel Industry

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CO2 emissions in air-transport industry
Aviation accounts for 2% of total man-made CO2 emissions. In the 1st five years of 21st century, aviation’s CO2 emissions rose by about 5% to more than 700 million tons. The total worldwide CO2 emissions increased by 13% during this time. •Up to 18% of fuel is wasted through operational and infrastructural inefficiencies, which amounts to 120 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Operational and Infrastructural improvements facilitated by IATA have saved industry 33 million tonnes of CO2 since 2004 CO2 emissions and Fuel efficiency

The industry target is to improve fuel efficiency by at least another 25% by 2020 mainly by fleet renewal. •The newest aircraft (A380 / B787) use less than 3 liters of fuel per 100 passenger/km. •By 2020 the new technologies are expected to be 50% more fuel efficient and no CO2 emissions.

Action plan to reduce CO2 emissions
IATA’s Four Pillar Strategy
Before the Kyoto Protocol the “airline” industry was working hard to reduce its emissions. This has borne fruit – over the past 40 years “the airline” industry has improved fuel efficiency by 70%. Between 2001 and 2008 alone “the airline industry” improved fuel efficiency 16%...

At the IATA annual general meeting in 2007, a vision for the industry was laid out to achieve carbon-neutral growth in the mid-term and to build a zero emission commercial aircraft within the next 50 years. This would be achieved through the IATA four-pillar strategy to reduce emissions: investment in technology; effective operations; efficient infrastructure and positive economic instruments.

Pillar 1 — technology

Of the four pillars, technology has the best prospects for reducing aviation emissions. The industry is making great advances in technology such as: revolutionary new plane designs; new composite lightweight materials; radical new engine advances; and the development of biofuels. Airlines will spend $1.5 trillion on new aircraft by 2020. Some 5,500 aircraft will be replaced by 2020, or 27% of the total fleet resulting in a 21% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to business as usual.

1.1.Technology Roadmap – IATA’s Technology Roadmap identifies future technologies that could reduce emissions 20 to 35% per aircraft. It provides an overview of aircraft, engine and system technologies that help reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions. It covers steps that are being taken right now such as retrofitting winglets, as well as a range of more innovative technologies, including new engine architecture, composite materials and laminar flow. Modifications to the existing fleet using current technologies (winglets, drag reduction, etc.) could achieve an extra 1% overall emissions reduction by 2020 for an estimated investment of $2 billion. But implementing the new technologies identified in the roadmap could provide even bigger savings with fuel burn reductions of 20 to 35% per aircraft.

1.2 Biofuels – Sustainable biofuels for aviation could reduce CO2 emissions 80%, on a full carbon life-cycle basis. IATA’s focus is on biofuels sourced from second or new generation (e.g. algae, jatropha, camelina) biomass. These fuels can be produced sustainably to minimize impacts on food crops and fresh water usage.

Tests in 2008 and 2009 demonstrated that the use of biofuel from these sources as “drop-in” fuels is technically sound. No major adaptation of aircraft is required. Biofuels can be blended with existing jet fuel in increasing quantities as they become available. Assuming availability of a 6% mix of 2nd generation (sustainable) biofuels by 2020, this would reduce aviation CO2 emissions by a further 5%, requiring investment of $100 billion. IATA has set a target to be using 10% alternative fuels by 2017.

Pillar 2 — operations

More efficient aircraft operations can save fuel and CO2 emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1999 report identified 6% inefficiency in aircraft operations....
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