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How much environmental damage does flying cause?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation, has indicated that aviation currently contributes 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. There is significant research and investigation on the impacts of other emissions and the release of emissions at high altitude. Given the complexity of chemical reactions in the atmosphere, there remains significant uncertainty around these issues.

To assist in increasing understanding of climate change science in the atmosphere, Cathay Pacific is supporting the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) Project, which is part of the European Commission’s European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. In 2013, one of our Airbus A330-300 aircraft has been equipped with scientific instruments designed for the monitoring of climate change contributors such as aerosol, cloud articles and atmospheric composition. The results will form part of a database for science and policy users, including the provision of real time data for weather prediction, air quality forecasting and climate models. More information can be found on their website: www.iagos.org.