Anna-Lotta Jadinge Profile picture
Aug 27, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
What size of land would be required to supply the aviation industry with the sufficient amount of biojetfuel, should a biofuel revolution take place?

Six times the area of all the fields in the world.
That is, 68 percent of the total land area on Earth.
#climate #aviation
Let me explain why.
Earlier this year, a long-distance flight was performed by Qantas, using 10% biofuel. 150 acres of mustard was required for this flight.
Suppose that we would replace all fossil jetfuel with 100% biojetfuel with the same area requirements as Qantas' flight.
Also, suppose that roughly 1/4 of all flights are long-distance & that short-distance flights require 75% less fuel than long-distance.
That gives an average crop need of 650 acres, or 260 ha, per 100% biojetfuel flight.
Worldwide, about 39 million flights are performed annually (growing approx. 5% per year).
A biofuel-based aviation system would require 39 million x 260 ha = 101.4 million square kilometers.
The global arable land area is around 17 million square kilometers, according to FAO.
So the biojetfuel would require six times the global arable land area.
That is, 68% of the total land area.
Now, the industry is planning to use "sustainable biofuels", i.e. not competing with food supplies or consuming prime agricultural land or fresh water.
A certain amount of biomass can be extracted from woods, or other types of land than fields.
Big question though:
How can a fuel demand equal to the energy we can get from mustard fields covering 68% of land NOT compete with food & agriculture, in one or the other way?
The biofuel transformation of the aviation industry is a dead end.
And even if it were possible, emissions wouldn't decrease enough, because biofuels produce emissions, too.
What about electric planes, then?
It's still uncertain whether they ever will gain substantial commercial importance, but if they do, it will take at least 10-15 years from now.
OK, but is it really necessary with large cuts in emissions from aviation?
In society as a whole, emissions will have to decrease rapidly over the next 30 years - about 7% annually, to have a chance to reach the 2 degree target.
The lesser the cuts in emissions from aviation, the greater the need for drastic cuts in other sectors.
And, as I have shown in another thread, aviation will account for as much as 20% of global emissions by 2030 - if aviation continues to grow as much as expected.
To summarize.
We need emissions cuts faster than light.
Aviation, too, has to cut emissions rapidly.
And the so-called "sustainable aviation" dream won't save us.
It's as simple as this.
We have to start flying less - in fact, much less.
That means fewer flights worldwide, instead of MORE flights - the current trajectory.
Since people like me, in rich countries, fly about 5-7 times more frequently than people in poor countries, we are the ones who should cut our flying the most.
Will people give up their habits voluntarily?
Well, some people will, but most people won't.
As long as flying doesn't get more expensive, that is, continues to be free from any form of tax, not much will happen.
The point is:
The longer we postpone decisions to put a sufficiently high price on carbon,
the more greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere.
And the bleaker our children's future.
@GeorgeMonbiot @NaomiAKlein @rahmstorf @KevinClimate and others, please RT if you find this thread useful. Thank you for your work!
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