This fact sheet addresses the issue of greenwashing by the aviation industry by analyzing claims meant to support the industry's growth and debunking common myths and misconceptions.
The fact sheet uses graphs and data while diving into topics like net-zero emissions, the Paris Agreement, and carbon capture and storage.
The resource juxtaposes claims made by the aviation industry with information presented by the author to explain why those claims will be insufficient.
The graphs and formatting make it engaging to read.
Before reading the fact sheet, students should have a general understanding of the causes of climate change and the solutions used in net-zero accounting.
Considering the amount of information presented, it may be helpful for students to summarize the important points, annotate the document, or engage in discussion as they go through the reading.
Have students consider why companies continue to commit to net-zero emissions even though it fails to achieve limiting warming to 1.5C.
Students can work in pairs to discuss the difference between lowering emissions and offsetting emissions, expanding their analysis to an evaluation of the commitments made during the COP climate meetings.
As a follow-up activity, have students research what a fair and equitable carbon budget would be for the aviation industry.
The sources can be found at the bottom of the document for students interested in further reading on the subject or to assign as reading assignments or group projects.
For more information on greenwashing and the aviation industry, read this fact sheet on hydrogen flights and this fact sheet on electric flights.
This website provides a fact sheet for greenwashing, which is the misinformation provided by organizations about the environmental impacts of current and future activities. This fact sheet covers the aviation sectors commitment to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, what the aviation industry tells you and what they do not tell you. There is a discussion about reaching net zero by 2050 is too late to prevent climate change. There is also a discussion about the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and where the focus for reducing emissions should be. This fact sheet is well sourced and researched and would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about the different industries claiming to reach net zero emissions to help combat climate change.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
ETS1: Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.