In order to reduce their carbon footprint do airlines need a more powerful global regulator?

New research, conducted by the University of Southampton, ‘Direct carbon dioxide emissions from civil aircraft‘, has revealed the increasing affect the aviation industry is having on the environment. The study has therefore taken a look into the various ways this is being managed. Global airlines currently consume over 5 million barrels of oil per day, and emissions of CO2 from aircraft engines are proportional to fuel-used by a factor of approximately 3.15. 

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This means that taking a round trip from New York to San Francisco will generate the global warming equivalent of two to three tons of carbon dioxide. This is as much as a third of the total CO2 emissions created by the average European each year, and about 15 % of that created by the average American. However, the impact has not yet caused considerable concern due to the small percentage of people who chose air travel, in fact research suggests the aviation industry only generates 2 % to 5 % of total global carbon emissions each year. However, this is rapidly changing.

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