Assessing the discursive foundations for emissions abatement in aviation: a post-normal science primer on alternative jet fuels
by Mónica Soria Baledón
International Journal of Sustainable Aviation (IJSA), Vol. 8, No. 3, 2022

Abstract: Post-normal science was used to review the discursive foundations of environmental policy in aviation, and for reassessing the status, challenges and opportunities for alternative jet fuels to close the carbon loop of this hard-to-abate sector. The analysis revealed instances where data misrepresentation, information gaps and asymmetries, have precluded a comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts of aviation beyond its ~2.4% global CO2 contribution. Problem representations embedded in sustainability policies and regulations, have historically understated the urgency to implement ambitious climate strategies worldwide for addressing these impacts. Out to 2050, discursive misrepresentations could prevent the air transport sector's from attaining its net-zero commitment while effecting: 1) higher carbon debts, ecosystem damage and welfare loss from unsustainable fuel production; 2) distortion of long-term market signals for alternative fuels with high sustainability profiles; 3) investment constraints for next-generation technologies; 4) increased sectoral reputational risk; 5) foremost, a continued dependence on fossil-derived fuels.

Online publication date: Wed, 27-Jul-2022

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