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Environment & Energy Report

Stratospheric: What Happens to Airline Emissions Under Self-Rule

March 11, 2019, 1:08 PM

Environmental activists recoil for a reason when the super-rich fly private jets to forums that preach carbon neutrality. Airplane pollution levels really are going through the stratosphere and nobody seems to have a viable plan to rein them in.

A passenger aircraft takes off from London City Airport.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

While energy generation and agriculture currently dwarf aviation’s 1.3 percent share of all human-caused greenhouse gases, emissions from air travel are accelerating many times faster. That puts the industry on track to become the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide within three decades if the predicted cuts in other sectors materialize, data and projections from UN agencies show.

The...

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