When it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, commercial aviation faces one of the toughest challenges of any industry. Currently, aviation accounts for about 2.6% of emissions worldwide, but it risks rising to as much as 5% of the global total, as the industry falls behind others when it comes to decarbonization. The reasons for the jump are simple. Substantially more people will be traveling by air by 2030, and the current pledges made by airlines to use more low-carbon alternative fuel will at best only help cancel out a chunk of that growth. That leaves the industry exposed to public criticism and regulation — and the planet in peril.
Between 2019 and 2030, the global aircraft fleet is expected to expand 30%, and air travel — particularly in places like China and India — will be up substantially. Because of this growth, emissions from aviation could rise as much as 20% by 2030 — at a time when the planet needs the global economy to halve its greenhouse gas output, not increase it. Just to keep emissions close to flat with 2019 levels, every global airline would have to substitute low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for more than 15% of their current consumption. Anything less and emissions will move in the wrong direction.Read more