Peak Emissions by 2020? A Possible Dream

April 19, 2017

Above, Christiana Figures, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, on the prospect of peaking global emissions by 2020.

Emissions globally have flattened over the last 3 years even as global GDP has grown.


Green Car Reports:

Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero has received funding from Boeing HorizonX and JetBlue Technology Ventures toward making its dream of electrified air travel a reality.

Sometimes billed as the Tesla of the airplane industry, Zunum is developing a relatively small regional aircraft with about 700 miles of range. A 1,000-mile range will be attainable by 2030, it says.

The as-yet-unnamed aircraft will hold between 10 and 50 passengers, depending on how it’s configured, the company says.

Zunum’s jet will primarily run on batteries, so it promises to make air travel quieter for passengers and those who live under flight paths.

Noise-free take-offs will open up the possibility of scheduling more flights overnight.

A fuel-burning range-extender will turn on only when additional electricity is needed, according to the company’s official website. Ultimately, Zunum plans on building a regional jet that runs exclusively on electricity.


4 Responses to “Peak Emissions by 2020? A Possible Dream”

  1. HAO Admin Says:

    “Three year flattened CO2 emissions”? Sounds great, but how do we reconcile the alleged plateau in fossil fuel CO2 with the continued acceleration of easily measured atmospheric CO2? Barry Saxifrage in Opinion, Energy addresses this (April 10, 2017). One should read the full article (, but in summary:
    The IEA numbers might be wrong.
    We may be be increasing CO2 emissions from other sectors not covered.
    Climate change might be increasing CO2 emissions (tipping points).
    The oceans and biosphere might be absorbing less of our CO2.

    As Saxifrege says, “If humanity is making climate progress, someone forgot to tell the atmosphere about it.”

  2. indy222 Says:

    I just plain don’t believe this UN Rep. China was in a post-“ghost cities” retrenchment in their economic growth during those 3 years. Also, these are reported emissions. Do we trust them? China’s been caught before, under-reporting. Methane from fugitive emissions from our oil/gas industry recently found to be ~100x higher than industry reports. There’s only one curve that does not lie, and it’s the ONLY curve that matters when it comes to climate – the CO2 Keeling Curve. It it not only hasn’t slowed down, it’s shown the largest accelerations in year-over-year ever. Who’s lying? Mother Nature? Or Industry/Politico’s ? Anyone? Anyone? Either someone’s lying, or else worse – the uncontrollable emission from the thawing permafrost is taking over. I see no cause for party hats and celebrations.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      Well said. It’s especially disheartening to see the current administration disable recent efforts to just collect the data needed to access how much methane is leaking from natural gas operations. I guess what you don’t know can’t hurt you? Scott Pruitt used to crossing streets with his eye’s closed?

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      The graph shows that the rate of change of measured emissions has flatlined and stopped accelerating.
      Emissions are of course still being made, so the level of CO₂ is still going up.
      As for unmonitored emissions, they will make their presence felt in the discrepancy between calculated and measured quantities.

      Still, it’s a good sign that we are turning the corner and momentum will increase, in spite of fossil fuel industry attempts to sabotage it.

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