I went to the Bath Children’s Literature Festival a couple of weekends ago, and at one of the events a very well-known illustrator mentioned that the main focus of the climate strike movement was aviation, before going on to suggest that in her opinion another industry was more particularly culpable. A hall full of primary school children (and their parents) nodded soberly – this was not news to them. They know what ‘flygskam’ means.

It is a commonplace in the press at the moment that the aviation industry is a major contributor to humanity’s carbon emissions, especially with the renewed efforts of Extinction Rebellion also hitting headlines. Private aviation is an especially soft target, with high-profile (and even royal) individuals and occasions attracting criticism for their use of corporate and personal aircraft.

The thing is, I have been trying to write this blog post for months now, hoping to be able to do some research and identify some positives to try to respond to this, but there is a dizzying amount of press coverage of the issue every week, and a bewildering number of industry reports from the last twelve months alone, and it is exceptionally difficult to find a unifying message or distil an accurate sense of the progress we are making – even if, like me, you work in the sector and are actively looking for some digestible takeaways.
Continue Reading Means, motivation and opportunity: How can we better respond to flygskam?

Aviation seems to be facing a fuel-related existential crisis at the moment, as pressures mount on the industry from various angles.

Within asset finance generally the major discussion is the looming bite of the IMO 2020 regulations, which will reduce the amount of sulphur permitted in ship fuel oil to a limit of 0.50 per cent mass by mass from 1 January 2020. Aside from the huge impact this will have on the world’s vessel owners and operators, it is also anticipated that there will be knock-on effects for aviation.Continue Reading Fuelling aviation: What would Iron Man do?

The aviation industry is a major contributor to the world’s carbon emission and greenhouse gas problem, generating 2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and estimated to account for 3% by 2050. The UK’s aviation sector, for example, was responsible for 34 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2012, a figure forecast to rise to 43.5 million tonnes by 2030 [1].

The huge volume of commercial aviation activity, the long distances we now travel, the massive amount of fuel burned to power the equipment, the release of emissions directly into higher levels of the atmosphere, the ever-growing demand for capacity – this all adds up to a very knotty problem for the industry to address. How can we better balance the need to accommodate unprecedented growth in demand with the environmental imperative to fly far less than we already do?

There are a number of methods currently in use, of varying levels of effectiveness.
Continue Reading Wanted: Blue sky solution to big green problem