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Via Rainforest Rescue:

The international aviation industry wants to achieve “carbon-neutral growth” using biofuels. This would almost inevitably involve palm oil and the further destruction of rainforests for oil palm plantations in the name of “green” travel. Please join us in speaking out against the ICAO’s misguided plan.

Global air traffic is growing rapidly – and with it, the environmental problems caused by the aviation industry. Aircraft are currently responsible for around five percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The UN’s International Aviation Agency (ICAO) predicts that by 2050, the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions will increase by a factor of five – to 2.5 billion tons annually.

The ICAO’s proposed solution: “carbon-neutral growth” – made possible by trade in CO2 offsets, the use of biofuel, and aircraft with greater fuel efficiency.

CO2 offsets do not actually reduce emissions, however. The airline industry would only be buying the “right” to pollute, and the funds thus raised would go toward climate protection projects around the world. Experts doubt that this practice actually results in a net benefit for the environment.

Furthermore, vast tracts of land would have to be dedicated to plantations to produce the biofuel necessary to replace only a few percent of the 260 million tons of fossil fuel that the aviation industry burns annually.

In addition to vegetable oils, the ICAO proposes using algae, wood and organic waste as potential raw materials for biofuel, yet production methods on a suitable scale have not yet been developed. Experimental cultivation of camelina – an oil crop – for use in test flights resulted in very low yields.

The most likely biofuel scenario is that the industry will use hydrotreated palm oil, which is already being produced commercially by companies such as Neste Oil, Eni and Repsol. To make room for ever more oil palm plantations, tropical rainforests are being cleared, releasing enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Please support our petition to the ICAO – and avoid unnecessary air travel. Sign the petition at Rainforest-Rescue.org.

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