‘Recovery’ cover story

The cover story of recovery: “Aviation will weather the Covid crisis just like other crises”

The truth: Aviation is trying to ignore the climate crisis, which will be bigger than Covid

The aviation industry hopes for a business-as-usual recovery from the pandemic, talking about the need to save jobs and benefit the economy. But the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment, which is in crisis. The financial world is starting to recognise that carbon-intensive industries have a very limited future, and warns of stranded assets in the aviation industry (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50868717). Governments and organisations are recognising the need to legislate as climate chaos gets worse and feedback loops such as melting polar ice kick in, to produce the change that is needed.

The aviation industry is doing its best to ignore this. Boeing’s 2020 market outlook says: 

“Consumer spending is driving economic growth in many parts of the world. The maturation of emerging market economies will further increase consumer spending’s share of economic activity, bolstering demand for air travel”(https://www.boeing.com/commercial/market/commercial-market-outlook/). 

There is no mention of the increased need for spending to mitigate the impact of floods, drought, cyclones, mass migration and other changes caused by carbon emissions. The climate crisis will be much larger and drawn out than Covid, and aviation needs to address this growing reality.