The environment benefits from reduced air travel

The environment benefitted from reduced international airline travel brought about by the novel coronavirus disease pandemic.

The first half of 2020 saw an 8.8% drop in carbon dioxide emissions compared with the same period in 2019, which is even bigger than the decrease during the 2008 financial crisis and the 1970s oil crisis.

With passenger numbers down 67%, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, and airlines grounding planes as travel restrictions bite, there are undoubted benefits of cutting back on flying, at least environmentally.

The question is, can this be sustained once wanderlust gets the better of us and we all start traveling again?

The International Air Transport Association says that the pandemic is a “black swan event” and now is the time to start investing heavily in sustainable fuels.

But it remains to be seen whether 2020 is really the start of a less emissions-heavy age.

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