13 Jan 2020, 13:59
Benjamin Wehrmann

Hub for climate-friendly aviation launched at Frankfurt Airport

Clean Energy Wire

A new "competence centre" for climate action in the aviation sector has been launched at Germany's most important airport in Frankfurt am Main to facilitate progress in synthetic airplane fuel production and other climate-friendly technologies, the government of the federal state of Hesse has said. "We need more climate action in transport. While CO2 emissions in the power sector are falling, they remain high or even rise in the transport sector," said Hesse's economy minister Tarek al-Wazir, adding that "CO2-neutral aviation will not be possible without using synthetic fuels." Al-Wazir said the state government would invest 15 million euros over the next years to foster power-to-liquid projects for synthetic fuel production and a pilot facility. The competence centre will be headed by former Lufthansa manager Bernhard Dietrich.  

Albeit only accounting for a small fraction of Germany's total emissions, aviation is among the fastest-growing greenhouse gas sources in the country, with the number of flights and passengers growing constantly each year. The government has decided on first steps to better integrate the sector in climate action policy in its climate package through higher taxes on airplane tickets and research into synthetic fuel technology. While these fuels might help abate the impact of flying on the climate, industry experts say replacing kerosene alone will not solve aviation's climate dilemma, due to "non-CO2 effects" - such as condensation trails, particles and other greenhouse gases emitted at high altitudes.

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