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Decarbonizing Aviation

Decarbonizing Aviation

When it comes to our transportation system, decarbonizing aviation is a very expensive ton of CO2 to go after. But potential solutions abound, including lower carbon liquid jet fuel, electrification, hydrogen and more energy efficient aircraft. On Episode 23 of Energy vs Climate Dr. Steven Barrett of MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics helps David, Sara and Ed assess those different pathways as the aviation industry searches for how to do its fair share in a net-zero world – without putting flight out of reach for all but the very rich.


@ 1:58 The world’s largest offshore wind farm just hit two major milestones

@3:47 $3.5-million provincial inquiry into 'anti-Alberta' activities struggles to find a bad guy

@ 6:00 Rigged: online archive and podcast documenting the history and evolution of disinformation in America

@ 6:33 Will Postmedia Face a Reckoning for Its Climate Coverage?

@ 13:04 Harbour Air eyes 2023 for first electric passenger flights

@ 15:26 The limits of bioenergy for mitigating global life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels

@ 18:34 Smarter driver Fuel-efficient driving course

@ 22:02 Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon neutral airline globally

@ 23:25 France moves to ban short-haul domestic flights

@ 25:50 Despite pandemic pause, demand for new airplanes is expected to swell in next two decades, Boeing says

@ 28:01 Government of Alberta support for hydrogen

@34:25 The Sky’s the limit challenge Seeking a Canadian Breakthrough in Green Aviation Fuels

@ 38:21 Sweden sees rare fall in air passengers, as flight-shaming takes off

@ 38:31 Scientists' warning on affluence

@43:21 Contrails: How tweaking flight plans can help the climate

@50:16 Carbon neutral hydrocarbons (Trade off point carbon tax/synthetic fuels)

@50:54 David on Solar fuels (Video)

@51:59 IPCC report on Carbon Capture including Storage Capacities

About your co-hosts:

Steven Barrett is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is Associate Department Head of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. He is director of the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment and leads the MIT Electric Aircraft Initiative. The aim of Steven’s research is to help aviation achieve zero environmental impacts. This includes developing low emissions and noise propulsion technologies for aircraft, improving scientific understanding of the atmospheric impacts of aircraft pollution, and evaluating the sustainability of biofuels and electric aircraft.

David Keith is a professor at Harvard in Engineering and the Kennedy School. He is the founder of Carbon Engineering and was formerly a professor at the University of Calgary. He splits his time between Canmore and Cambridge.

Sara Hastings-Simon studies energy transitions at the intersection of policy, business, and technology. She’s a policy wonk, a physicist turned management consultant, and a professor at the University of Calgary and Director of the Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development.

Ed Whittingham is a clean energy policy/finance consultant, fellow at the Public Policy Forum and a mentor with the Creative Destruction Lab. He is the former executive director of the Pembina Institute.