June 21, 2024

Expert recommends polluters-pay-principle for aviation firms to offset 12% sector’s contribution to global carbon emission

Oredola Adeola

Ivie Ehnamo, founder of Electricity Lawyer, has charged Government to introduce a polluters-pay-principle for the aviation industry to significantly reduce the sector’s 12% contribution to global carbon emission through the creation of a natural carbon sink (tree planting) scheme.


Ivie made this suggestion in her weekly insight obtained by EnergyDay on Monday.

According to her, through policy actions and deliberate efforts a rapidly expanding commercial airline firm may be mandated to plant more than 2000 trees each month.
She said, “According to Ronnie Alerna, aviation fuel emits the equivalent of 90 kg of carbon emissions per passenger per hour at a cruise speed of 780km/h from a Boeing 737-400. though only 2.1 % of all human-induced carbon emissions are produced by the aviation industry worldwide, which account for 12 % of emission compared to 74 % from road transportation. The climate impact cannot be ignored.
“The average annual carbon emission that is absorbed by a single tree range from 10 to 40 kg.  With the discharge of nitrogen oxides, water vapour and sulfate, and soot particles at high altitudes, aviation also affects the climate and may have a considerable impact.
“The European Commission estimated that the demand for flying might result in a rise in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 300%.
The founder of Electricity Lawyer also noted that climate change is significantly exacerbated by aviation emissions, adding that when fossil fuels are burned by airplanes, powerful warming non-CO2 effects such as nitrogen oxide (NO2) vapour trains and cloud formations brought on by the height at which aircraft fly are also produced.
She said “Being a big contributor to carbon emissions, the aviation industry poses a serious challenge to government emission growth targets, due to three factors, including the anticipation that the aviation industry will expand significantly.
Other factors according to her are the fact that emissions at higher altitudes are thought to have a greater impact on climate change.
She further noted that the third factor centered on the fact that there is currently no feasible substitute for kerosene-fueled jet engines in the works, revealing that the possibility of hydrogen as a source is being explored alongside other sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) sources.
Ivie said, “In the interim, aviation is projected to account for a far bigger share of global climate change emissions, as other industries reduce emissions. Tree planting can be introduced into the aviation policies of Nigeria.
She said, “Protecting trees is perhaps the greatest approach to halt the worldwide occurrence of atmospheric emissions, because of their capacity to create oxygen and absorb carbon.
“As a result of their capacity to store carbon, trees are referred to as the carbon sink. It remains the second largest carbon sink on the globe after the sea.
“Programs centered on planting trees, promoting natural regeneration or both may contribute to some of those advantages, but success depends on carefully crafting a policy to factor in the sector’s dynamics and linkages with other areas of the economy.

“It would be beneficial for efforts to considerably increase the forest carbon sink to carefully evaluate the history of tree planting and forest investment in many African countries, forestry will be more effective in the rural scenery.

While noting that tree planting is a voluntary action, Ivie charged the government to also initiate policies and strategies that recognised the special characteristics of the country and encourage them to invest in tree planting.
Other recommendations suggested by her as means of curbing greenhouse carbon emissions in the aviation industry also include promoting social forestry. forestry extension service, availability of land, distribution of seedlings and volunteering,
Ivie however emphasised that tree planting has the capacity to serve as a tool for offsetting green gas emissions contributed by the aviation industry.  Ivie also noted that when these policies are tactically put into practice, they will aid in promoting tree planting among rural households.