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The illusion of sustainable aviation: Paul Peeters in Eos magazine

Monday, July 4, 2016

In its summer 2016 issue, the Belgian popular science magazine EOS published the article “the illusion of sustainable aviation” (in Dutch), with interviews of CSTT associate professor Paul peeters and researcher Eke Eijgelaar. Paul Peeters reasons that, even though there are many option to improve efficiency of aircraft and engines, operations and there are some prospects for alternative fuels, these will fail to bring down the emissions due to the strong growth of air travel. To prevent aviation on its own blocking the mitigation obligations of the Paris agreement december 2015 on climate change mitigation, a discussion about the unlimited growth of air travel wille be inevitable. Eke and Paul also show that the often used argument against curbing aviation’s growth of developing countries being hit most, is not valid as there wille be both rich and poor countries that suffer and that may gain from such limitations (because less people leave the country on a long haul flight and stay on a domestic or neighbour country trip). In line with other cited scientists in the EOS article, Paul Peeters proposes a closed emission trading system dedicated to aviation to be the most efficient solution: all money of trading will stay within the sector, prices will go up as well as profit margins and emissions will follow a guaranteed downward path.