The Airline Industry Eyes Its Carbon Footprint

The Airline Industry Eyes Its Carbon Footprint

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Airplane wing over sunset and clouds
January 23, 2017

Regulators have begun scrutinizing airlines for their outsized carbon emissions. The industry looks for ways to lower emissions and maintain profits.

The airline industry accounts for two percent of global carbon emissions, and emissions are likely to increase as the popularity of air travel rises.  Policymakers are increasingly working with airlines to find ways to limit emissions growth.  But the diverse, global industry is difficult to regulate, and competitiveness issues abound. 

Megan Ryerson, professor of transportation at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in environmental impacts of the air transportation system, provides insights into the airline industry’s environmental challenges and possible strategies to address its greenhouse emissions.