Just how real is “low carbon aviation”?

In recent months, people in the aviation industry have been talking up the bright future of “low carbon aviation”. We thought it might be time to see what commentators are saying about how real, achievable and proximate a low carbon aviation future might be.

Below, we’ve listed recent news items which speak to this point. Grab a coffee and have a read …

[Edit: First published 23 August 2022, we’re now updating this list as new, relevant articles are published]

  • Airbus boss warns of delay in decarbonising airline industry, The Guardian (30 November 2022) read it here

  • Rolls-Royce tests a jet engine running on hydrogen, BBC News (20 November 2022), but the article concludes that there are many hurdles to clear, and production at scale is a long, long way off. Read it here.

  • Are airline offsetting schemes all they’re cracked up to be? Radio New Zealand, Nine to Noon (12 September 2022). This radio interview covers offsetting, increasing carbon emissions and supposed “low carbon technologies.” listen to it here
  • Is guilt-free flying really hovering on the horizon? Stuff (25th August 2022) read it here
  • This is what’s keeping electric planes from taking off, MIT Technology Review (17th August 2022) read it here
  • Airliners Powered by Sustainable Fuel Remain a Distant Goal, New York Times (29th June 2022) read it here
  • Just hot air? For all the Farnborough talk, zero-carbon flying remains years away, Guardian (22nd July 2022) read it here
  • Miracle technologies will not be the answer to aviation’s net zero emissions pledge, Financial Times (22nd June 2022) read it here
  • Jet zero: Aviation industry has ‘insufficient plans’ to meet net zero targets, green groups warn, Business Green (19th July 2022) read it here
  • ‘They need to get real’: Airlines slammed for betting on alternative fuels to reduce emissions, CNBC (21st July 2022) read it here
  • Europe’s Airlines Are Pushing for Weaker Emissions Rules, Bloomberg (7th July 2022) read it here
  • Air NZ struggles to meet even conservative climate emissions targets Newsroom (7th December 2021) read it here
  • Electric Airplanes Won’t Make Much of a Dent in Air Travel for Decades to Come, IEEE Spectrum (1st November 2021) read it here