Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation are projected to trend sharply upwards, according to a suppressed report based on information contained in U.S., European, and UK government databases maintained by regulatory agencies (Environment News Service, May 7). The U.S. needs a strategic plan to limit aviation emissions associated with climate change.
See the full ENS article: “Suppressed Aviation Report Forecasts ‘Massive Environmental Damage”
The technical report, titled “Trends in Global Noise and Emissions from Commercial Aviation for 2000 through 2025,” was submitted to the 7th US/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar held in Barcelona, Spain last summer. But it remained unpublished until released to the public on April 24 by the Aviation Environment Federation, the principal UK nonprofit concerned with the environmental effects of aviation.
The report includes a projection that emissions of carbon dioxide from aviation will more than double between 2000 and 2025—from 572 million metric tonnes in 2000 to 1,229 million metric tonnes.
The federal multiagency NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System) Joint Planning and Development Office last released a Progress Report to Congress for the year 2006. That report completely suppressed any discussion of the relationship between the growth of aviation, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change impacts. Unless we missed something in our search, it appears that, as of May 2008, the 2006 report remains the NextGen program’s last update to Congress.
As part of an overall U.S. climate change preparedness initiative, the next President and Congress should mandate that a key component of the federal NextGen program’s mission must be to develop a strategic plan for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation system. NextGen planning and development activities should be associated with CO2 emissions metrics for setting program priorities and measuring progress.
See our earlier posts:
December 5, 2007: States and enviro groups petition EPA to regulate aviation greenhouse emissions
September 18, 2007: When it comes to climate change, should we leave the FAA on auto-pilot?
July 18, 2007: Federal NextGen aviation planning is ignoring global warming
Full text of the Climate Science Watch report: NextGen Air Transportation System Progress Reports Ignore Climate Change (July 2007)