With the aim to reduce aviation emissions, in 2007 IATA adopted a four-pillar strategy. As a result, the purpose of this research is to analyse the IATA’s Four Pillar Strategy taking into account what has been achieved and the future projects by primarily concentrating on the first pillar of the strategy: the Improved technology. Thus, this study will investigate the technological improvements giving particular relevance to the development of biofuels by evaluating progress and barriers. Finally, it will analyse the measurement of the targets and will provide recommendations on how to achieve the strategy goals.
2 The Global greenhouse gases challenge and the aviation industry
Nowadays the importance of being environmentally responsible cannot longer be ignored by our society. Indeed, one of the major threats to humanity and natural systems appears to be Climate Change (Goldenberg, 2014), which, although it has long been debated whether or not there was a link between greenhouse gas emissions and CC, according to the last United Nations IPCC Assessment Report (2013), it is extremely likely that humans are responsible for the most recent climate change.
Sure enough, carbon dioxide, one of the main contributor to global warming, has increased from 280 parts per million (ppm) before the Industrial Revolution to more than 390 ppm in 2011 (OECD, 2012). In response to climate change, the European Union launched in 2005 the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which was extended to the aviation industry in January 2012, with the intention to charge airlines entering the EU for their CO2 emissions. However, this scheme has strongly been criticised by many airlines around the world, which resulted in its tempo...
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... targets of switching to biojet fuels in the near future (OECD, 2012). On the other hand, fossil fuels are progressively becoming insufficient and consequently they will become more expensive while biofuels cost will drop as a result of new technologies being developed – it is predicted that oil prices will keep going up while the cost of biojet fuels will continue to fall (ATAG, 2012).
Figure 10: IEA BLUE Map scenario for biofuels (Source: OECD, 2012).
Finally, the contribution of biofuels to the aviation sector has also been evaluated by the UK Committee on Climate Change - biofuels in 2050 could contribute to 10 per cent in a ‘likely scenario’, 20 per cent for an ‘optimistic scenario’ and 30 per cent for ‘speculative scenario’. However, due to 50 per cent life cycle CO2 saving, the percentages should be divided by a factor of two (Lee, Lim and Owen, 2013, p.6).