Flying into a greener future?

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on addressing climate change did not include two sectors – aviation and maritime. This is despite aviation accounting for 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, a figure which is growing by around 3% a year.

In the autumn of 2016, the world’s governments came together under the UN’s specialist agency for aviation – the International Civil Aviation Organisation – and reached a voluntary agreement to allow airlines to “offset” their carbon emissions.

Close-up of the body of an airplane flying above cloud.

Developing alternative aviation fuels is one way the industry hopes to reduce both carbon emissions and improve air quality. ICAO organised a special seminar on the issue in Feb, selecting experts from around the world including representatives from British Airways, Oslo Airport, Boeing, and KLM. Dr Blakey was the only international academic to be invited, and presented on some of the technical challenges of using alternative fuels in turbines. Dr Blakey is part of a growing team at Energy 2050 looking at alternative aviation fuels, with unique large scale research facilities to test the fuels.

Dr Blakey was interviewed by the BBC on the challenges facing aviation (from 10mins 04secs):

If you want to know more, the University is running a week-long Masters level course in association with Airbus: