Well, Tuesday’s aviation announcement was something of an oxymoron.
In case you missed it, a coalition of industry heavyweights has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. A very welcome move.
Yet, in almost the same breath, they advocated a 70% growth in flights, also by 2050. Achieving both would be quite the feat. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – which is, I fear, certainly the case here.
I will readily embrace genuine progress and I am pleased to see the nod towards cleaner technologies. But these figures are not consistent with the necessary measures we need to avoid uncontrollable climate heating.
This pledge is a mask for unlimited growth and soaring emissions – with the aid of a giant carbon offset crutch. It ignores the roadmap to real reduction and the urgency of the challenge we face. We can’t offset our way out of a climate crisis we contribute to. It would be much cheaper and far more convenient, but that won’t cut it.
To stay below 1.5 degrees, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us we need to collectively see a 55% reduction in emissions on 2017 figures by 2030. To achieve that, we have to put less carbon into the atmosphere. Not half-heartedly attempt to suck some back out after the fact.