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Eco-Efficiency in Aviation – Flying Off Course?

Scholz, Dieter

Eco-efficiency is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution. It is a management philosophy geared towards sustainability. The aviation industry believes in economic growth without growth in emissions. This is called zero emission growth and should be achieved from 2020 onwards. This is only possible with carbon offset schemes, because even all technologies combined cannot compensate a growth rate of 5%. There is no real reason to start with compensation only as late as 2020. Compensation could as well start today. Jevsons explains the paradox, why fuel cannot be saved from efficiency increase. With all this and more, it becomes clear, why aviation follows a path that does not lead to eco-efficiency or sustainability. As such, aviation is flying off course! Goals will be missed. To conclude: The aircraft is already mature. Therefore, not many possible savings are left. Primary concern is drinking water followed by energy and global warming. The world needs to adapt to global climate change and resource depletion. The change will not be smooth so we need resilience. Currently, research resources are spent on too many things that do not matter in the big picture. We could be advancing at a faster pace if we get focused on what really matters.
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