EbeneInfo – CA – Covid-19 «  a minor market disruption  » in relation to the economic impact of climate change

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Covid-19 will look like a small problem on the global economy compared to the nightmare of climate change

This is the take on British sustainability writer Sir Jonathon Porritt, who chairs Air New Zealand’s Sustainability Advisory Board

His words are sure to thrill Air New Zealand, given the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on its business and aviation as a whole

The global airline industry is estimated to burn nearly 13 billion US dollars (19 billion New Zealand dollars) per month, including 48 million jobs in the sector at risk due to Covid-19

READ MORE: * Flight to Nowhere Sends Wrong Message in Climate Crisis * Air New Zealand Records Annual Loss of $ 454 Million, Its First Since 2002 * Free Ride Against Pollution: Why Our Airlines don’t pay fuel tax

Since the start of the pandemic, Air New Zealand has reduced its workforce by 4,000, suspended new routes, canceled old ones, blocked fleets and recorded its first loss in 18 years

The significantly lower number of flights in the past year means its carbon emissions are 19% lower than in 2019 and its emissions profile is expected to be lower in the years to come

This time last year, in a submission from the New Zealand Biojet Consortium to the government, Air New Zealand said climate change was « arguably the biggest risk facing the airline industry »

« As an airline we are already seeing the impact of climate change in New Zealand, with increasingly volatile weather patterns and severe events such as cyclones and storms affecting flights and preventing customers to get to where they need to go, « the statement said

In Air New Zealand’s recently released 2020 Sustainability Report, Porritt says the threat of climate change is a « nightmare that will make the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy look like a minor disruption of the world. market ”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says greenhouse gas emissions must halve over the next decade Aviation sector will fall short of this target, but it will then have to be on a sharply declining trajectory, he says

Porritt has been deeply critical of the aviation industry in the past and says it has been ‘complacent and obstructive’ in addressing the challenges of climate change

« If nothing else, Covid-19 has shocked aviation into a more acute awareness of both its vulnerabilities and its obligations »

He hopes this has made governments realize how smarter they need to be to put in place the right policies for aviation to be successful in tackling climate change

Porritt says that despite ‘painful decisions’ from Covid-19, Air New Zealand has not put sustainability on the back burner

In its communication last year, Air New Zealand said further significant reductions in carbon emissions in New Zealand were unlikely without access to readily available aviation biofuels

Aviation biofuel is renewable, not based on fossil fuels and suitable for use in airplanes instead or blended with petroleum-based jet fuel It can be made from a range of biomass feedstocks , including vegetable oil, tallow, woody biomass and even municipal solid waste

Sustainable aviation fuel technology already exists and is already in commercial production globally

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran says, thanks to its Covid-19 recovery strategy called kia mau, it is increasingly clear that Air New Zealand and the country must take action decisive over the next 10 years to develop sustainable alternative fuels

Global aviation produces 2% of all human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the non-profit Air Transport Action Group, made up of airlines such as Airbus, Boeing and Rolls -Royce

The US nonprofit, the Institute for Environmental and Energy Studies, says that while global commercial aviation was a country in the national emissions rankings, it is would rank sixth, between Japan and Germany

It indicates that the non-CO2 effects of aviation, such as warming from aircraft contrails and other pollutants, bring the total contribution of commercial aviation to about 5% of the aircraft problem. global warming in the world

Foran, who started as managing director in February, says sustainable fuels and the necessary infrastructure require significant up-front capital and policy changes to give producers confidence there will be demand long term

« These fuels currently cost two to three times more than traditional fuel – but this trade gap can be narrowed, » says Foran

Making this a reality requires collaboration and investment from the public and private sectors, and the creation of policies that attract investment and ensure the industry’s long-term competitiveness, he says

Investing in sustainable alternative fuels will create skilled jobs in the New Zealand region and exploit forestry and landfill waste or municipal solid waste, he says

It makes sense that New Zealand would be one of the first to adopt next-generation aircraft such as electric, hybrid or hydrogen planes due to access to a mix of renewable energy and a high proportion of relatively short-haul regional flights, he says

In a recent article for Capa – Center for Aviation, Chris Lyle, managing director of Air Transport Economics, wrote that air traffic (and emissions) are not expected to reach 2019 levels for several years.

« But that’s no reason to cut back on ongoing emissions reduction efforts, » Lyle says

For aviation to make its required contribution to Paris Agreement targets, emissions must be at least half of 2019 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050, says he

Existing technology and measures that improve aircraft fuel efficiency are ‘substantially inadequate’ to meet the challenges of climate change, he says

The best solutions are synthetic e-fuels (made directly from CO2 captured from the atmosphere), fuel cell electric airplanes (like batteries, but which do not need to be recharged) and potentially hydrogen (renewable energy stored as hydrogen gas, made from water), he says

« Money would be much better spent on the evolution of synthetic fuels than on carbon offsets and, if possible, the revenues generated by current offsetting practices could be redirected accordingly »

Adoption by Air New Zealand customers voluntarily offsetting their carbon emissions through the airline’s sustainable forest and energy planting program called FlyNeutral was 71 percent, compared to 46 percent last year

Lyle says the challenge of transitioning to synthetic fuels is « formidable » given the deplorable state of the industry and the low cost of fossil fuels

Financial incentives should be offered to producers of synthetic fuels and sources of income could be developed by imposing taxes on fossil fuels, he says

A multinational approach to emissions mitigation would be ideal, with a policy focused not only on aviation, but also on tourism, trade and the economy

An « ultimate tool » for governments would be to cap airline operations by route using a profit criterion including emission reduction targets, he says

« The reality is that if we procrastinate now, a growing alternative, and perhaps the only long term one, will be to reduce thefts in general »

In July, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) called on the International Energy Agency to prioritize investments in sustainable aviation fuel to help aviation’s contribution to the post-Covid-19 recovery

Iata says sustainable aviation fuel can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel

Sustainable aviation fuels are certified as safe, durable and ready to use with more than 250,000 flights having used a blend of sustainable and traditional aviation fuel to date, he says

According to Robert McLachlan, a professor at the School of Basic Sciences at Massey University, while Air New Zealand’s improvement in carbon offsetting rates shows customers are more climate-conscious, many environmentalists believe that offsetting is not part of the solution to tackling aviation emissions

« Offsetting won’t save the world At some point we need to reduce emissions at the source, » McLachlan says

Producing sustainable alternative fuels made in New Zealand is the most realistic option to reduce carbon emissions in aviation, he says

« As for the long term solution for New Zealand, this is a solution that could possibly work »

The types of sustainable fuels on offer, although high in terms of production costs, do not require new engines to power planes, he says

Inclusion of emissions from international aviation in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets is an immediate area that needs to be addressed, McLachlan said

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says there are no plans to include international aviation in the National Emissions Trading System (ETS), the government’s main tool for meet international and national climate change targets

But the zero-carbon law requires that, by December 31, 2024, the Climate Change Commission advise the minister on whether New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2050 must be changed to include emissions from international shipping and aviation and, if so, how the target should be changed, says Shaw

Climate change, G20, Joe Biden

EbeneInfo – CA – Covid-19 « a minor market disruption » in relation to the economic impact of climate change

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/123296215/covid19-a-minor-market-perturbation-compared-to-economic-impact-of-climate-change

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