Air cargo CO2 emissions to increase 411% by 2050

Analysts predict that more emissions will be produced from freight cargo than passengers by 2050.


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The global air cargo market reported impressive growth last year, marking the first upswing in the market following a long period of stagnation. The result, fear many environmentalists, will lead not merely to the growth of the global air cargo market but also contribute significantly to the increase in CO2 emissions. Analysts predict that more emissions will be produced from freight cargo than passengers by 2050.

The International Transport Forum (ITF) has provided figures estimating that emissions will grow 286 per cent by 2050. CO2 emissions from air freight are expected to lead this growth, as analysts predict a 411 per cent increase on 2010 levels, with volumes transported reaching a projected 767 million tonnes.

Although the increase in CO2 emissions does suggest that the air cargo market will grow significantly, it also poses a setback for the air freight market as concern over CO2 emissions, already a hot topic, will no doubt become increasingly problematic for freight companies. The rise in emissions will possibly lead to stricter air freight legislation, for example, increasing capacity constraints, which could halt economic growth.

Although the global air cargo market reported strong growth last year, profits declined for the third year in a row, researchers noting no immediate prospect of improvement. However, with many countries focusing on significant market growth, investment into this area could account for declining profits as a whole.