If it were a country, aviation would be the world’s seventh largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
The challenge to reduce its emissions is therefore urgent, but when the United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) released its sustainable aviation plan in September 2016, it was met with shock and horror. Despite small positive steps such as introducing more fuel-efficiency, the main thrust was to use the widely discredited tools of offsetting and biofuels.
This can never be considered “green”.
ICAO claims it will “offset” its increased emissions through a Global Market Based Mechanism. Given the huge number of credits airlines would need to purchase, many presume that the industry will focus on trees, which have long been seen as a source of cheap offsets.
But there is one problem: forest offsets don’t work and with less than five years left until global emissions put the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature aspiration out of reach, we do not have the luxury of choosing between reducing emissions and protecting forests. We need to do both.
Fern critiques forest carbon offsets and works with other NGOs to campaign for the aviation industry to come up with a plan to reduce emissions, rather than relying on the false solutions of forest offsets and biofuels.
Aviation related resources
While climate change wreaks havoc, airlines hide plans to double emissions behind a widely discredited scheme.
In Bonn last month delegates from around the world discussed how to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement – which aims to tackle the greatest threat currently facing the planet.
At exactly the same time almost 6,000...
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Airlines’ ‘action’ on climate change means doubling emissions
This press release exposes the flaws in the airline industry’s plans to offset its carbon emissions. It is also available in German.
Unearned credit: Why aviation industry forest offsets are doomed to fail
Unlike other sectors, international aviation is not included in 2015’s Paris Agreement. This has allowed aviation to lag behind other sectors when it comes to reducing emissions. In the face of mounting criticism, the...
Cheating the climate: the problems with aviation industry plans to offset emissions
The UN Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas does not cover emissions from international aviation. These are regulated by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has been tasked with adopting a proposal...