Written by Eric Lombard While the aviation sector and governments promise a new era of “sustainable” aviation fuels (SAF), we know that it will divert much-needed resources away from other sectors and take decades to happen, if at all. Yet there is an efficient way to...
The total climate impact of aviation
For a long time, the aviation industry and governments ignored the fact that aviation’s climate impact is not only about CO2: burning kerosene at altitude also generates contrails, induced cloudiness and NOx derivatives that, although short lived, contribute substantially to global heating. This has led to a public perception of air travel being a relatively small problem, and to a lack of effective mitigation of the industry’s climate impact.
On the 14th of November, Stay Grounded organized the webinar “Total Climate Impact of Aviation”. Find here the video recording and powerpoint resources.
- Eric Lombard, aerosol physician, coordinator of Stay Grounded France (Rester sur terre), presented the scientific state of the art, mostly the findings of the paper in Atmospheric Environment by 21 scientists prominent in the field published in September 2020. He also presented the fact sheet which Stay Grounded published in October 2020 “It’s about more than just CO2“. Find his presentation here.
- Dr. Marc Stettler from the Imperial College London was with us through a video, presenting the results of a scientific study on how the climate forcing of contrails could easily be mitigated through flight route changes and cleaner burning engines. Find his video here.
- Bill Hemmings, aviation consultant, previously director of aviation and shipping at the NGO Transport & Environment, presented the shortcomings of regulators to account for the total climate impact, and outlined the soon to be published EU commission’s communication around an EASA study on the topic. Find his presentation here.
- Afterwards, the participants discussed possibilities to pressure regulators to stop ignoring the non-CO2 effects of aviation and follow up with effective policies to reduce them.