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By Gossling, Stefan.; Upham, Paul

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Extra resources for Climate Change and Aviation Issues, Challenges and Solutions

Sample text

It is clear that research still has many questions to answer, not only in the fields of atmospheric physics and chemistry, but also economics, geography and sociology, and it is high time for politics to focus on the aviation sector. This book is an attempt to provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the various issues and interrelationships of aviation and climate change from a variety of perspectives. It is our hope that it will be read widely to increase the interest in and understanding of this important topic.

With regard to the latter, the authors argue that there is hope in the presence of limits to individual consumption of air travel, and refer to the possibilities of modal substitution and the benefits of slower surface travel. However, given the small percentage of the global population who currently fly, such limits clearly have the potential to be negated by a larger number of people flying and cannot possibly be relied upon as an adequate mitigation measure. In Chapter 12, Sarah Mander and Sally Randles describe a political phenomenon that has facilitated aviation growth in the UK, namely the development of coalitions, partnerships and associated forms of governance, involving the state (local, regional and national) as well as commerce.

Rapid growth in air travel is a product of specific and powerful social, economic, cultural, technological and commercial trends as well as a special, often preferential treatment, in politics. Intervention at any one of these levels alone will not suffice to bring air travel within climatic constraints in the short timescale required, though progress in any one aspect may help progress in the others. As mentioned, the latest scientific evidence tells us that within about 10 years the greenhouse gas emissions trends of industrialized nations will need to contract year on year by at least some 4 per cent per annum (on a compound basis) until 2050 (Bows et al, 2007; Upham et al, 2008).

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