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Air travel growth suggests ‘sustainable’ and ‘development’ are not compatible

Sustainable Practices in Transport Industry

Air travel is not the only threat to life on earth, but it is a useful barometer of runaway economic growth and development that, if allowed to continue unmitigated, will irreparably harm the planet

  • Airbus has predicted that over the next 20 years the number of commercial aircraft in operation around the world would double.
  • Since 1990, technological advances have indeed cut aircraft fuel consumption per passenger kilometer by half. But at the same time the number of passenger flights quadrupled, to 4.2 billion a year, nullifying any gains in efficiency. By 2037 there will be more than 8 billion flights a year.
  • A study revealed that between 2013 and 2018 the volume of carbon dioxide emitted by airlines increased 32%. The growth was “largely coming from people who haven’t accessed air travel in the past [and] in the notion of what we’re going to do to protect our planet there has to be a notion of equity.