We are all hopeful that the lockdown restrictions will be a thing of the past soon and we will be able to return to our normal way of living. This includes going on holiday and flying to our favourite destinations. However, many of us have heard about climate change and how the aviation industry plays a major part in contributing to damaging CO2 emissions. This puts us in a bit of a dilemma, as whilst we would love to jet off to sunnier climates, we also don’t want to harm the planet.
This may be something we will not have to face for much longer though. A new jet fuel has been developed from food waste through biorefining. The developers of the paraffin-like fuel believe that it will significantly reduce greenhouse gases, as it stops kerosene emissions and means that not as much food waste will go to landfill, where it produces methane.
The UK government’s aim is to reach net zero emissions by the year 2050. In fact, the UK was the first country to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming and has one of the most ambitious targets in the world. It intends to do this through schemes that offset greenhouse gases like planting trees and capturing and storing carbon.
The new jet fuel could play a big part in meeting the UK’s target, as the aviation industry is one of the biggest obstacles in achieving net zero emissions. According to the team behind the development of this biofuel, it could be commercially available in as little as two years, which is great news to flyers as well as to the environment. Aviation companies are currently being encouraged by the government to buy shares in developing production plants where food waste will be turned into fuel. British Airways have already invested in a production plant in the US.
Some airlines have adopted other methods to reduce emissions, such as the Dutch airline KLM. They have launched a campaign to encourage people to fly less. Whilst no one can begrudge the average person of taking a once-a-year holiday overseas, the campaign is more aimed towards business flyers who could perform meetings via Zoom or Skype rather than racking up thousands of air miles. The pandemic has been a testament as to how we can adapt when we really need to, and climate change is something that must be at the forefront of our minds as we return to normal.