Airlines Are Major Carbon Culprits, Report Shows

May 12, 2008 09:32 AM
by Isabel Cowles
A recent study indicates that airlines emit 20 percent more carbon dioxide than previously understood, posing a greater global warming threat.

30-Second Summary

According to a recent study, airplanes emit 20 percent more greenhouse gases than was previously believed.

This means that the amount of carbon emission could hit 1.5 billion tons a year by 2025, according to Wired blog Autopia. The writer elaborates, “If you're looking to put that number in perspective, the European Union currently emits 3.1 billion tons of CO2 annually. Yup, that's the entire 27-nation, 457 million person EU.”

Airplane pollution has always had a uniquely devastating effect on the environment, since its carbon emissions are released at such high altitudes.

Disputes over how to tackle the issue have plagued governments worldwide. While the EU has agreed that airlines will participate in carbon trading beginning in 2012, the U.S. opposes the plan.

Steps are being taken to create more fuel-efficient jets, and many airlines offer passengers the option of personal “carbon offsets,” where, for $2, passengers can have trees planted to offset the environmental damage done by their voyage.

Headline Links: ‘Airline Emissions: Even Worse Than You Think’

Background: How planes pollute

Related topics: Legal, technological and financial methods for reducing airline emissions


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