22.05.2021

International Day for Biological Diversity: why it is important to talk about aviation pollution

Imagining a legacy for our children is not easy nowadays. Due to climate change and particularly pollution, we live on this planet with the awareness that human impacts on the ecosystem are strong. It’s also obvious that the biological diversity, or biodiversity, is being damaged.

An interesting explanation about this latest word is provided by National Geographic: “Biodiversity is a term used to describe the enormous variety of life on Earth. It can be used more specifically to refer to all of the species in one region or ecosystem. Biodiversity refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans”. Nonetheless the need to express that biodiversity is a fragile ecosystem

The endangering of biodiversity has raised many voices over the last few years. One of them comes from the scientist Jane Goodall, an ethologist known for her long-term research on chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. During an interview on CBS, the renowned scientist expressed her worries about the conditions our planet is dealing with : “At a certain point the ecosystems of the world will just give up and collapse and that's the end of us eventually too”.

The importance of this thematic is now at the center of worldwide discussions as it is May 22nd: the International Day for Biological Diversity.

There are many ways to imagine a different world. Finding alternative methods to live in harmony with our planet is a core topic for Pie Aeronefs SA. This international day is a good opportunity for us to talk about aviation pollution.

The impact of aviation pollution

While the famous European Green Deal moves forward with its objective to stop greenhouse gases emission within 2050, and also to create a more sustainable economy, there are worrying data on the impact of aviation pollution according to a report from the European Commission.

Although the percentage of emissions produced by aviation is much lower than other transports, the report says: “Before the COVID-19 crisis, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) forecasted that by 2050 international aviation emissions could triple compared to 2015”.

In fact, according to another report published by the European Parliament, the percentage of pollution produced by aviation represents 3.5% of the total amount: the domestic aviation being 0.4% of this data. Despite this relatively low percentage, aviation pollution is substantial and remains a hot topic for the EU Green Deal as well as for the EU Commission: “If global aviation were a country, it would rank in the top 10 emitters”.

In the transport industry, a lot of money is invested towards a sustainable mobility. In aviation, innovative projects are however more discrete.

There are many physical and legal barriers in developing disruptive technologies that will run the airplanes of tomorrow. Thinking about long-haul flights, there is a huge step to achieve meanwhile shorter flights offer more possibilities. At Pie Aeronefs SA, we are focusing on finding alternative technologies for the future of air mobility and we chose the development of electric aircraft, starting with the all-electric race aircraft UR-1.

If we restrain the data of aviation pollution to Switzerland, the air traffic is responsible for 27% of the climate impacts because citizens usually fly up to twice as much as other European citizens, says a WWF report.

Analyzing data is the first step to understand why innovative and sustainable projects are so important. Even if electric aircraft will represent a viable alternative for short-haul air operations, longer flights will require a propulsion made of hybrid-electric or hydrogen engines. Nevertheless, the main objective remains the same for everyone: reducing the carbon emissions of the aviation industry.

Why we are talking about aviation pollution on Biodiversity Day

The Covid-19 pandemic has outlined new perspectives for the future electric aviation. It gives to electric aircraft more importance than ever. According to Horizon - The EU Research & Innovation Magazine, this sector becomes more crucial by now: “And with the industry being hit hard by the pandemic, causing a drop in air traffic, making air travel sustainable is seen as key to Europe’s recovery”.

Making the difference by cutting off emissions will be one of the biggest challenges for mankind. By evolving new technologies on a micro-scale, we can affect the macro-one. This is exactly what Pie Aeronefs SA is doing.

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