Supersonic Jets For The Ultra Rich Could Be A Climate Change Disaster

Fifteen years after the last Concorde flew, a new fleet of up to 2,000 supersonic business jets is in the works to ferry wealthy travelers around the world. The planes are expected to hit the runway in the next decade, but the climate change alarms are already going off.

President Donald Trump, of course, has hailed the supersonic revival as an example of the “Great American Spirit.” NASA dropped a $247.5 million contract on Lockheed Martin to build a quieter engine capable of breaking the sound barrier.

Climate advocates, meanwhile, are pointing to a new report, released Tuesday by the nonprofit International Council on Clean Transportation, that offers heavy criticism of the next generation of ultra-fast business jets.

The ICCT, which uncovered the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, warns that increased emissions from the new jets risk “large environmental consequences.” Its report concludes that the planes will burn five to seven times more fuel than normal aircraft and break United Nations-set carbon dioxide emissions limits for aircraft by 70 percent.

“People should be worried,” Daniel Rutherford, one of the report’s authors, told HuffPost. “We know that even without these supersonic jets, emissions from international aviation are expected to triple by 2050.” 

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