Sustainable Aviation & Responsible Travel

Sustainable aviation and responsible travel are increasingly recognized as important components of addressing climate change, given the significant contribution of the transportation sector to global greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions in this area include measures to reduce the carbon footprint of air travel, such as the use of alternative fuels and more-efficient planes, as well as efforts to promote more sustainable travel practices, such as public transportation, cycling, and eco-tourism.

Panel: Pathways to Sustainable Aviation

Commercial aviation accounts for 2.0-2.5% of global CO2 emissions, and yet is a critical section for decarbonization. Despite the need for decarbonization, the sector is projected to grow significantly ahead of 2050, the stated goal for a net-zero emissions economy. There are several proposed pathways to decarbonizing aviation. In this session, we will talk about three critical components of achieving the goal of sustainable aviation. First, we will discuss the technological advances in aviation technology that will facilitate significant increases in efficiency and hence decreases in CO2 production during operations. Second, we will talk about net-zero carbon fuels and why chemical energy carriers will still be necessary for much of the current aviation portfolio. Finally, we will discuss the regulatory frameworks in place to certify the new technologies and fuels for safety and airworthiness. The panel session will be followed by time for questions, discussion, and brainstorming for future research and outreach efforts regarding sustainable aviation at Penn State.

Room: Presidents Hall

Session Time: Tuesday, May 23, 12:30 pm (Lunch)

Session Leads: Jacqueline O'Connor & Karen Thole