Like virtually every area of human activity, air transport has an impact on the environment
This impact takes several forms, including the disturbance caused by aircraft noise and aircraft engine emissions. A major concern for the industry is greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and their implication for climate change.
Aviation produces around 2% of the world’s manmade emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Despite growth in passenger numbers at an average of 5% each year, aviation has managed to decouple its emissions growth to around 3%, or some 20 million tonnes annually. This is through massive investment in new technology and operating procedures.
Generating electricity, deforestationand driving all have an impact on the environment, as do the majority of human activities. Like most major industries, aviation is striving to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions
As aviation grows to meet increasing demand, the IPCC forecasts that its share of global manmade CO2 emissions will increase to around 3% in 2050.
However, a growing carbon footprint is unacceptable for any industry which is why the aviation industry, from manufacturers to airports to airlines to air traffic management, are all working hard to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
On this website, we provide information on how aviation contributes to climate change, and discuss the industry’s work to address this. We also outline how noise impacts those who live around airports and aviation's effects on air quality.
Find out more about how climate change occurs »