New Civil Engineer - Crawford Burden

Wholesale aviation decarbonisation rests on new technologies some years away from scaled up implementation, so the built environment sector must do what it can to accelerate the decarbonisation of airports now.

As a sector committed to reducing carbon emissions and limiting the impact of climate change, our long held practices increasingly challenge us to rethink and re-evaluate design. From the quantity of concrete to the use of wood, many old assumptions about the built environment need reconsideration when sustainability is placed at the heart of design.

...growth puts the aviation sector in a difficult position. Last June, the Airports Council International Europe, which represents more than 500 airports across Europe, committed to net zero carbon emissions from airport operations by 2050 at the latest. In addition, in October members of IATA – which represents 83% of global air traffic – committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This means that a cumulative total of 21.2 gigatons of carbon needs to be abated between now and 2050, according to IATA. It’s an understatement to say the decarbonisation challenge facing the aviation sector is enormous. Coupled with this is the high profile and emotive nature of air travel as a major contributor to CO2 emissions and climate change, which in itself could result in a reduction in the anticipated growth of global traffic numbers. The imperative for change is thus significant and it is urgent.

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