Global warming facts
Today, three climate change scenarios 2°C (2DS), 4°C (4DS) and 6°C (6DS) exist to define necessary action. All scenarios would lead to severe environmental consequences, from the extinction of many species to an alarming sea level rise. Targeting the 2°C scenario would require a 80% reduction in emissions between the 2015 and 2050 levels. This achievement would then ensure a further decline in emissions from all emitting sectors.
Approximately 85% of energy is still sourced from fossil resources, petroleum being its biggest contributor with approximately 35% of the total demand. The easy oil is gone, which means that it becomes more difficult, expensive and dangerous to exploit natural resources, often resulting in higher risk for humans and nature. Many should be familiar with deepwater drilling, fracking, tar sands and so forth to produce petroleum.
The effect of climate change from airplane emissions is estimated to be even higher due to radiative forcing (see FAQ) caused by airplanes flying at high altitudes. The aviation industry is estimated to be responsible for 5-9% of climate change globally. On a country basis, developed countries’ contribution from air travel is significantly higher, as wealthier nations are usually the ones that can afford to fly.
Flying will remain very popular
In 2016, air traffic counted 3.77bn passengers globally and this number is expected to double by 2035, with a growth rate of 3.6% per year. A long term forecast by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) expects a further industry growth of 300-700% by 2050. It is estimated that, by 2020, the demand growth in the aviation industry will have led to a 70% increase in CO2 emissions compared to 2005, taking into consideration improved efficiency and operations.
Letting those numbers sink in, it becomes obvious that new environmentally friendly solutions are essential to preserve the luxury of air travel. However, civil aviation or airliners are very restricted to guide air travel into a more sustainable direction, as they operate in a highly global competitive market. In addition, they can only put indirect pressure on more environmentally friendly technologies as they are not responsible for the construction of the aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers, on the other side, have to secure safety operations under many circumstances, allowing only incremental developments towards new technologies and making the situation even more complex.
New environmentally friendly propulsion systems will take at least another decade to become mature and safe. That is why cleaner aviation fuels provide the only option to reduce emissions today. Fossil based fuels are less expensive than cleaner fuels, which is why everybody is asked to contribute to eco-friendly travel in order to help reduce the environmental impact, mitigate further climate change and preserve our beautiful nature.
There are better alternatives
Cleaner fuels are very diverse and some people refer to them as biofuels. However, there is a large variety of biofuels and some of them do not deserve to be labeled bio. This is why we stick to cleaner fuels, the latter being referred to as “advanced biofuels” by the industry. These are fuels that not only reduce the environmental impact, but also support social-economic development.
Sustainability is one of our highest priorities and you can read more about it in our section Sustainable.
“The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”
– Barack Obama