In 1960, 100 million people traveled by air. In 2017, 4 Billion people traveled by air across the world. While the collective use of automobiles, production of electricity, and the industrial and agricultural sectors each exceed the climate change impact of commercial aviation, passenger airline travel has the highest and fastest growth in the production of emissions even though there has been a significant improvement in efficiency of aircraft and flight operations over the last 60 years. Passenger air travel is projected to continue to rise dramatically over the next 20 years. The challenge now is how to reduce greenhouse emissions produced by commercial aviation.
This fact sheet below is the first in a series on commercial aviation, by examining the impact the growth of air travel and freight will have on greenhouse gas emissions. The second installment will feature mitigation efforts and industry commitments to reduce its contribution to climate change, and our final issue will examine the effects of a warming planet on industry operations.
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