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Are technology myths stalling aviation climate policy?

Peeters, P.; Higham, J.; Kutzner, D.; Cohen, S. and Gössling, Stefan LU (2016) In Transportation Research. Part D: Transport & Environment 44(May 2016). p.30-42
Abstract
Emissions from aviation will continue to increase in the future, in contradiction of global climate policy objectives. Yet, airlines and airline organisations suggest that aviation will become climatically sustainable. This paper investigates this paradox by reviewing fuel-efficiency gains since the 1960s in comparison to aviation growth, and by linking these results to technology discourses, based on a two-tiered approach tracing technology-focused discourses over 20 years (1994–2013). Findings indicate that a wide range of solutions to growing emissions from aviation have been presented by industry, hyped in global media, and subsequently vanished to be replaced by new technology discourses. Redundant discourses often linger in the... (More)
Emissions from aviation will continue to increase in the future, in contradiction of global climate policy objectives. Yet, airlines and airline organisations suggest that aviation will become climatically sustainable. This paper investigates this paradox by reviewing fuel-efficiency gains since the 1960s in comparison to aviation growth, and by linking these results to technology discourses, based on a two-tiered approach tracing technology-focused discourses over 20 years (1994–2013). Findings indicate that a wide range of solutions to growing emissions from aviation have been presented by industry, hyped in global media, and subsequently vanished to be replaced by new technology discourses. Redundant discourses often linger in the public domain, where they continue to be associated with industry aspirations of ‘sustainable aviation’ and ‘zero-emission flight’. The paper highlights and discusses a number of technology discourses that constitute ‘technology myths’, and the role these ‘myths’ may be playing in the enduring but flawed promise of sustainable aviation. We conclude that technology myths require policy-makers to interpret and take into account technical uncertainty, which may result in inaction that continues to delay much needed progress in climate policy for aviation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Aviation, Climate change, Discourse, Technology, Climate policy
in
Transportation Research. Part D: Transport & Environment
volume
44
issue
May 2016
pages
30 - 42
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961859397
ISSN
1361-9209
DOI
10.1016/j.trd.2016.02.004
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
429ab5c3-a30d-4093-8084-ddcdd874f1af (old id 8834444)
date added to LUP
2016-03-07 15:51:07
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:11:51
@article{429ab5c3-a30d-4093-8084-ddcdd874f1af,
  abstract     = {Emissions from aviation will continue to increase in the future, in contradiction of global climate policy objectives. Yet, airlines and airline organisations suggest that aviation will become climatically sustainable. This paper investigates this paradox by reviewing fuel-efficiency gains since the 1960s in comparison to aviation growth, and by linking these results to technology discourses, based on a two-tiered approach tracing technology-focused discourses over 20 years (1994–2013). Findings indicate that a wide range of solutions to growing emissions from aviation have been presented by industry, hyped in global media, and subsequently vanished to be replaced by new technology discourses. Redundant discourses often linger in the public domain, where they continue to be associated with industry aspirations of ‘sustainable aviation’ and ‘zero-emission flight’. The paper highlights and discusses a number of technology discourses that constitute ‘technology myths’, and the role these ‘myths’ may be playing in the enduring but flawed promise of sustainable aviation. We conclude that technology myths require policy-makers to interpret and take into account technical uncertainty, which may result in inaction that continues to delay much needed progress in climate policy for aviation.},
  author       = {Peeters, P. and Higham, J. and Kutzner, D. and Cohen, S. and Gössling, Stefan},
  issn         = {1361-9209},
  keyword      = {Aviation,Climate change,Discourse,Technology,Climate policy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {May 2016},
  pages        = {30--42},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Transportation Research. Part D: Transport & Environment},
  title        = {Are technology myths stalling aviation climate policy?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2016.02.004},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2016},
}