Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel of a country's residents methodological development and application for Sweden
Journal article, 2018
Global civil aviation accounts for 4–5% of total greenhouse gas emissions and these emissions are increasing. In the absence of sufficiently effective global climate instruments, national instruments might be considered as a complement, in which case some way of allocating emissions from international air travel between countries is needed. The purpose of this paper is to develop an accounting method that reflects one country's greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel, and to apply this methodology to Sweden. The new methodology consists of three parts: the number of international air trips made by the country's residents; the average distance of these trips; and the greenhouse gas emissions per passenger km. For Sweden, data for 1990 to 2014 show an increase in the number of trips by Sweden's population of 3.6% per year, resulting in, on average, one international journey (round trip 5800 km) per capita in 2014. The average distance to the final destination has increased only marginally due to simultaneous growth in both long and short trips. However, global average greenhouse gas emissions per passenger km have decreased by 1.9% per year between 1990 and 2014. Because the increase in the number of their trips has outweighed the decrease in emissions per km, the total emissions from Swedish residents' international air travel have increased by 61% between 1990 and 2014. The total emissions from Swedish residents' air travel, including both CO2and non-CO2-effects, were 11 Mt CO2equivalents in 2014, which is the same level as the emissions from Swedish car traffic. This type of reliable data is important when designing policies and for getting public support for new policies.
Greenhouse gas emissions