Green Skies Ahead: A Primer on Emissions Reduction Technology in the Aviation Sector
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Green Skies Ahead: A Primer on Emissions Reduction Technology in the Aviation Sector

flying high. Commercial jet at altitude
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As global aviation continues to grapple with COVID-19’s negative effects on the industry, the threat of climate change still looms on the horizon. Pre-pandemic, the aviation industry accounted for about 2.5% of global emissions and stakeholders across the world—including investors, consumers, and regulators—had been urging the sector to reduce its carbon footprint. Though the pandemic has drastically cut demand and the trajectory of the global recovery remains somewhat unclear, if left unchecked, emissions from aviation are projected to grow and could even triple by 2050.[1] Global aviation, however, has been prioritizing better efficiency standards and investments in longer-term sustainable technologies to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.

In this research report, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) provides an overview of some of the short- and long-term solutions to mitigate aviation’s environmental impact, detailing current developments as well as challenges for each technology. We examine efficiency upgrades that reduce emissions, like lighter and more aerodynamic aircraft, as well as developments in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market and next generation aircraft such as electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.