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Airlines Were Supposed to Fix Their Pollution Problem. It’s Just Getting Worse

Hundreds of millions of new passengers are coming, and there’s no solution in sight.

A passenger aircraft takes off from London City Airport.
A passenger aircraft takes off from London City Airport.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

From

Environmental activists recoil for a reason when the super-rich fly private jets to forums that preach carbon neutrality. Airplane pollution levels really are going through the stratosphere and nobody seems to have a viable plan to rein them in.

While energy generation and agriculture currently dwarf aviation’s 1.3 percent share of all human-caused greenhouse gases, emissions from air travel are accelerating many times faster. That puts the industry on track to become the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide within three decades if the predicted cuts in other sectors materialize, data and projections from UN agencies show.