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Initial Long-Term Scenarios for COVID-19’s Impact on Aviation and Implications for Climate Policy

Dray, L; Schafer, A; (2021) Initial Long-Term Scenarios for COVID-19’s Impact on Aviation and Implications for Climate Policy. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 10.1177/03611981211045067. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on aviation in 2020, and the industry’s future is uncertain. In this paper, we consider scenarios for recovery and ongoing demand, and discuss the implications of these scenarios for aviation emissions-related policy, including the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Using the Aviation Integrated Model (AIM2015), a global aviation systems model, we project how long-term demand, fleet, and emissions projections might change. Depending on recovery scenario, we project cumulative aviation fuel use to 2050 might be up to 9% below that in scenarios not including the pandemic. The majority of this difference arises from reductions in relative global income levels. Around 40% of modeled scenarios project no offset requirement in either the CORSIA pilot or first phases; however, because of its more stringent emissions baseline (based on reductions from year 2004–2006 CO_{2}, The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on aviation in 2020, and the industry’s future is uncertain. In this paper, we consider scenarios for recovery and ongoing demand, and discuss the implications of these scenarios for aviation emissions-related policy, including the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Using the Aviation Integrated Model (AIM2015), a global aviation systems model, we project how long-term demand, fleet, and emissions projections might change. Depending on recovery scenario, we project cumulative aviation fuel use to 2050 might be up to 9% below that in scenarios not including the pandemic. The majority of this difference arises from reductions in relative global income levels. Around 40% of modeled scenarios project no offset requirement in either the CORSIA pilot or first phases; however, because of its more stringent emissions baseline (based on reductions from year 2004–2006 CO_{2}), the EU ETS is likely to be less affected. However, if no new policies are applied and technology developments follow historical trends, year-2050 global net aviation CO_{2} is still likely to be well above industry goals, including the goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2019, even when the demand effects of the pandemic are accounted for.

Type: Article
Title: Initial Long-Term Scenarios for COVID-19’s Impact on Aviation and Implications for Climate Policy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/03611981211045067
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F03611981211045067
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 by National Academy of Sciences. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: aviation, economics and forecasting, aviation forecasting, environmental impacts of aviation, climate change
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133334
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