Airlines are looking for ways to decrease their environmental impact, such as by cutting back on the fuel they use or changing flight paths to create fewer contrails.

Aircraft consume large amounts of fuel. This explains why air travel, whether for passengers or cargo, is so inefficient and harmful to the environment. One flight can emit as much CO2 as many people do in a whole year, and it’s expected that over the next few decades, there will be a startling rise in the number of flights globally. Compared to other industries, aviation has one of the fastest expanding economies but produces very little of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The number of flights increased by 5% per year on average between 2000 and 2019. This all suggests that we need to start taking aviation emissions far more seriously. However, despite the fact that airplanes are becoming increasingly efficient, little has been done to date to actually decarbonize them.

If the world wants to accomplish the significant reductions in carbon emissions stated in the Paris Agreement on climate change, long-term aviation must completely switch away from fossil fuels. Can we make our airplanes run on alternative fuels or possibly change the way they fly to make them less detrimental to the environment?