While international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been less than satisfactory, there is a presumption that a significant level of multi-lateral commitment will be realized at some point. International air and marine travel have been left to one side in past talks because the pursuit of agreement proceeds on the basis of commitment by sovereign nations and the effects of these specific commercial activities are, by their nature, difficult to corral and assign to specific national jurisdictions. However, air travel is increasing and, unless something is done, emissions from this segment of our world economy will form a progressively larger percentage of the total, especially as emissions fall in other activities. This book focuses on fuel. The aim is to provide background in technical and policy terms, from the broadest reliable sources of information available, for the necessary discourse on society's reaction to the evolving aviation emissions profile. It considers what policy has been, why and how commercial air travel is committed to its current liquid fuel, how that fuel can be made without using fossil-source materials, and the barriers to change. It also advances some elements of policy remedies that make sense in providing an environmentally and economically sound way forward in a context that comprehends a more complete vision of sustainability than 'renewable fuels' traditionally have. The goal of Will Sustainability Fly? is to broaden and contextualize the knowledge resource available to academics, policy makers, air industry leaders and stakeholders, and interested members of the public.
’In this fascinating book, Walter Palmer confronts head-on the (some would say impossible) challenge of sustainability in commercial aviation. He identifies the keys, including new forms of aircraft, new sources of energy for fuel, and incentives for the needed research and development, including a price on carbon. It's a book for everyone concerned about our common future. My congratulations.’ Jim MacNeill, OC, Secretary General of the Brundtland World Commission on Environment and Development and chief architect and lead author of its 1987 report Our Common Future ’Growing demand and growing emissions are not the only future available for aviation. While identified by many as the place where fossil fuels will reign uninterrupted, Palmer takes us on a different journey. He carefully identifies potential alternative fuel pathways and explores the stakeholders, personalities and policies that could mobilise change toward sustainability. For refreshing insights, and a potential solution, to the complex problem of aviation and sustainability, this book is a must read.’ Paul Parker, University of Waterloo, Canada ’Mr. Palmer has done a tremendous job of capturing the critical nature of aviation and its sustainable future. ... In this book, he has accurately and effectively portrayed the current status of renewable jet fuels and the complexities facing the commercialization efforts that the biofuels sector faces in producing these new fuels. For the aviation industry to continue to grow and prosper over the next 20 years, all while meeting the emission reduction goals of ICAO and other emission reduction commitments, increased awareness by the traveling public, governments and militaries around the world is required. I think Walt has started this conversation in a big way I and look forward to the results of his work making a difference in the solutions that will come in the coming years.’ John Plaza, Founder and CEO of Imperium Renewables; Commercial Pilot