The government this week set out ambitious plans to deliver net-zero air travel by 2050. Analysis by a Cambridge University-led research group shows that cutting emissions has other costs that will require ambitious plans of their own. “The Jet Zero Strategy is designed to future-proofing flying aviation so passengers can look forward to traveling guilt-free.”
That’s the goal of Grant Shapps and the Department for Transport’s new plan, announced this week, to offer emission-free air travel by 2050. It sounds great to travelers and has a catchy name, but is it too good to be true? Research by a Cambridge University-led group, the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA), shared with Sky News, shows the scale of the future-proofing flying challenge facing government and the global air travel industry.
Right now, we burn 10 tons of jet fuel every second, that’s an Olympic swimming pool every three minutes. Replacing this with sustainable aviation fuel would require increasing current production by more than 1,000 times. We’ll talk about the other obstacles: land use, electricity use, new planes, and money, later. There are six key targets aimed at ensuring the government’s ambitious 2050 target is met. There are two that we’ll look at in more detail, but click future-proofing flying on the others for a brief overview of what they entail.
Improving the efficiency of plansi
Encourage customers to make green choices
Capture and offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emissionsi
Deal with other non-CO2 related warming effects of flighti
Use of more sustainable fuels
Zero emissions flight