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Three airline manufacturers team up on biofuel project

April 12, 2012, 07:50 am

Three of the world's largest commercial aircraft manufacturers recently announced they have signed a partnership to develop applicable and affordable aviation biofuels. The companies are Airbus, Boeing and Embraer, and the team plans to work together to promote, support and accelerate the development of sustainable biofuels for jet engines.

The companies will collaborate to address biofuel makers, governments and other stakeholders to further progress development. The goal of the partnership is to make measurable strides in the reduction of carbon emissions from the aviation industry worldwide, Engineering News reported.

Jim Albaugh, CEO and president of Boeing commercial airplanes, said while manufacturers are typically in competition, the development of biofuels for more environmentally and cost-effective fuel sources is something the industry must unite around. The industry as a whole aims to reduce commercial aviation emissions by 50 percent in 2020 compared to levels reported in 2005 and continue to achieve carbon neutral growth in the future, Engineering News reported.

"Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment," Albaugh said. "By working with Airbus and Embraer on sustainable biofuels, we can accelerate their availability and reduce our industry’s impacts on the planet we share."

The three-way partnership account for 23 major airlines making up 25 percent of yearly aviation fuel consumption. Embraer and Boeing are already working together on the development of a sustainable biofuels industry, and all three manufacturers have support test and trial flights using alternative energy fuels sources, Engineering News reported.

While many aviation professionals believe making changes to various industries to prevent further climate change will be an expensive transition, a recent report the from the Committee on Climate Change showed that eco-friendly practices are actually affordable.

David Kennedy, CEO of the CCC said that many companies can easily reduce their carbon emissions without paying significant costs. In fact, implementing eco-friendly operations can offer companies a wide range of economic benefits to boost growth and productivity, Wired reported.

"You don't need radical behavior and lifestyle change to achieve our climate objectives," Kennedy said.

John Reilly, co-director of a MIT research group studying climate economics, told Wired that some countries will be able to make slight adjustments to their residential and industrial activities in order to meet goal carbon emission reductions. Other countries, however, may not be able to implement new policies as rapidly or gain compliance from industries in their borders. In addition, the climate change already taking place is creating new obstacles and expenses many businesses must deal with. Costs from severe weather or ecological losses continue to rise as companies decide how best to approach carbon emissions.

One way to keep the skies safe despite severe weather is through investment in pilot insurance.

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