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21 Jun 2022, 12:49
Sören Amelang

Germany pushes joint effort to become climate-neutral aviation ‘pioneer’

Clean Energy Wire

The German government has launched a new push to make the country an international leader in sustainable aviation. “With a joint effort by industry, science, politics and society, Germany can become an international pioneer on the road to climate-neutral aviation,” said a government paper published at the start of the Berlin International Airshow (ILA). “In a ‘business as usual’ scenario, global air traffic volume doubles every 15 years. This further intensifies the need to act now.” The government said it wants to boost the use of new “post-fossil” and renewable fuels, more efficient technologies, the use of alternative propulsion systems, as well as alternatives to flying short and medium distances. The paper stresses that the non-CO2 effects of flying – mainly caused by airplanes’ condensation trails – have to be taken into account to ensure climate targets can be met.

“A key objective of the German government's joint paper on climate-neutral aviation is the climate-neutral production, operation and maintenance of aircraft, which we are consistently working towards, for example, in the areas of hybrid and electric propulsion systems and modern hydrogen technologies,” the paper states. The government is focusing its research and development support on technologies that can contribute to lower aviation’s climate impact, it adds. The government also said it will work on the European and international level towards a joint framework to support the market ramp-up of sustainable aviation fuels, which will involve blending quotas, but also questions regarding emissions trading and other instruments such as the finance taxonomy.

Aviation’s share of emissions is on the rise as the sector recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and progress on low-emission flying has been slow. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) last year presented a strategy for future emission-free aviation, while the country’s aviation industry tabled a joint master plan to bring air transport more in line with climate protection and commit companies in the sector to the goal of CO2-neutral air transport in late 2020.

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