Aviation excuses simply will not fly

They embody that IATA plans for not less than a doubling of worldwide air passengers by 2050, massively growing the dimensions of  the {industry}, simply as its local weather impacts want abating.

The plan focuses on makes an attempt to “decarbonise” aviation, nevertheless it 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, beneath the plan, over the following fast decade – a interval when it’s essential to cut back local weather affect – emissions and non-CO2 results will truly improve, solely being “off-set” by mechanisms that can have solely marginal results at greatest, and at worst beneath lax regulatory methods for biofuels, may make issues worse.

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


Such a growth would require huge quantities of land, endanger world biodiversity, put stress on meals manufacturing for human consumption and improve 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 injury in 2050 as it’s in the present day, whereas additionally taking on an enormous and far bigger share of the shrinking world carbon finances 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 really consistent with the Paris settlement, committing aviation to zero CO2emissions by 2050, together with non-CO2-effects.

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


Whereas this occurs, governments ought to take fast motion to restrict the expansion of aviation by way of home, joint or unilateral measures, together with an embargo on the additional growth 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 at the moment advertising its “Fly Internet Zero” scheme on its web site with the declare that the pledge centered on being ‘web zero’ by 2050 units world aviation “consistent with the goals 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, consequently, 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, creator 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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