Europe is finally doing something about the fastest growing source of the pollution that causes global warming: air travel.
The «Clean Sky» Joint Technology Initiative created by the European Commission for the 7th Framework Programme for Research is a research programme plan for greener european air transport. The goals are to obtain, by 2020, a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions, a 80% reduction of NOx emissions and a 50% reduction of noise.
Flying by jet plane is the least environmentally sustainable way to travel and transport goods. Aeroplanes are responsible for at least 3,5 % of global warming. This figure is expected to reach 15 % by 2050.
Some more numbers, from http://www.dontfly.org/:
One-way flying distance in kilometers: 2000
Liters of crude oil consumed by one person, two-way flight: 274
Number of persons traveling in your group: 2
Liters of crude oil consumed by the group/family, two-way flight: 549
Liters of carbon dioxide released to atmosphere by the group/family, two-way flight: 740093
Tonnes of carbon dioxide released to atmosphere by the group/family, two-way flight: 1,354
Euros would cost to buy carbon emission allowances (if aviation was not excluded in the EU carbon dioxide trading scheme): 5
Euros more the flight would cost, if aviation fuel had the same tax as road transport fuel in EU: 447
Days, equivalent to idling a family car nonstop (motor running - car not moving): 20
Equivalent to driving with a family car, kilometers: 6820
«Perhaps you're thinking of flying off to a warmer climate, basking in the sun, listening to the waves from your bedroom?
Or maybe you're looking for something more unusual? - Visit deserts which were once the cradles of ancient civilisations, see rivers of ice crack and flow down mountain slopes, or paddle through flooded forests...
Maybe you're visiting old friends or bringing some warmth to your grandchildren far away, Or are you jetting off to an business meeting or an international conference, to play your part in shaping the future of our planet? Yes, that's right, whatever your reason, all you have to do to make the world warmer is get in a plane! CO2, NOx, and H2O emissions from aircraft contribute substantially to the greenhouse effect. So, as this melts the icecaps, the sea-level will rise, drowning those coral islands, flooding those forests, perhaps bringing the waves right into your bedroom. Meanwhile advancing deserts and freak storms may destroy our farms and cities. Will our grandchildren thank us for the exciting warm world they inherit?» (http://www.dontfly.org/)