What does it take to fuel flight?

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Many Australians are rightfully worried about electricity prices as well as the damage that the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions-heavy industries may be causing to the environment.

It's becomingly increasingly accepted and even expected for households, offices and companies to be more energy efficient and environmentally conscious, both for the sake of the planet and for budgeting.

There has also been a focus on reducing carbon emissions from transport. Making use of forms of public transport, rather than individual cars for instance has been encouraged. One form of transport and its emissions however has seemed a bit more difficult to balance - and that's aviation.

However new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has shown that the aviation industry can achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 through the use of 'high-integrity, low-cost carbon credits.'

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, last month the International Air Transport Association (IATA) asked governments of member states to adopt a mandatory global mechanism  in order to make its carbon emissions stable from 2020 and beyond - by the year 2016 - in order to counter the industry's fast-growing carbon emissions. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was strongly encouraged to agree on a global offset program to achieve this.

Analysis in the report, Carbon-Neutral Growth for Aviation: At What Price? found that offsetting the industry's carbon emissions is not only incredibly achievable, it could also be done at a relatively low cost.

"These findings show that the international aviation sector can control its CO2 emissions relatively cheaply by using market based mechanisms," said Guy Turner, chief economist at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

"The small cost and the ability to pass any costs through into ticket prices, should encourage the international aviation sector to accelerate and deepen its emission reduction pledges. More ambitious emission reductions now look much more doable, than mere stabilization from 2020."

Costs estimated to be passed on to ticket prices were estimated to be as small as an extra $2 on a one-way fare in 2030.

In the past, the aviation industry has set aspirational goals that were non-binding - so there has been less urgency to achieve them - such as improving fuel efficiency by 2 per cent per year to the year 2050.

Would you like to see airlines become more environmentally friendly? Has being carbon conscious affected the way you travel?

Posted by Charlie Moore