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Net-zero aviation: Transition barriers and radical climate policy design implications

Gössling, S and Humpe, A (2023) Net-zero aviation: Transition barriers and radical climate policy design implications. Science of the Total Environment, 912. ISSN 0048-9697

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While air transport decarbonization is theoretically feasible, less attention has been paid to the complexity incurred in various ‘transition barriers’ that act as roadblocks to net-zero goals. A total of 40 barriers related to mitigation, management, technology and fuel transition, finance, and governance are identified. As these make decarbonization uncertain, the paper analyzes air transport system's growth, revenue, and profitability. Over the period 1978–2022, global aviation has generated marginal profits of US$20200.94 per passenger, or US$202082 billion in total. Low profitability makes it unlikely that the sector can finance the fuel transition cost, at US$0.5–2.1 trillion (Dray et al. 2022). Four radical policy scenarios for air transport futures are developed. All are characterized by “limitations”, such as CO2 taxes, a carbon budget, alternative fuel obligations, or available capacity. Scenario runs suggest that all policy scenarios will more reliably lead to net-zero than the continued volume growth model pursued by airlines.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aviation; Climate change; Climate policy; Mitigation; Net-zero; Technology optimism; Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 May 2024 15:26
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 15:26
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.169107
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23296
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