Aviation and climate change: a focus on Zambia’s international aviation emissions.

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Mapiki, Lawson Hang’ombe
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The University of Zambia
The aviation industry is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and accounts for about two percent of the global GHGs emissions. This study therefore endeavoured to assess on how a low carbon aviation industry could be enhanced in Zambia. Thus the study estimated the levels of international aviation emissions attributed to Zambia over a period of 10 years (2010 - 2019). It also examined the compliance levels of the aviation sector in Zambia against the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). In line with this, a mixed methods approach was used. Secondary data sets on emissions and the number of active aircraft over the 10-year period were used. Key informant interviews using interview guides were also used to collect qualitative data. Trend analysis was used to show trend in the international aviation emissions attributed to Zambia for the period under investigation while a simple linear regression analysis was used to show the effect of active aircraft on the emissions observed. A comparative analysis was used in examining compliance levels of Zambia’s aviation sector against CORSIA SARPs. This was augmented by content and thematic analysis of key informant interviews. A best fit trend line showed a positive and a significant increase (P-value < 0.05) in the international aviation emissions attributed to Zambia at a rate of 2.5 metric tonnes per year over the period assessed. The observed increase in the emissions was attributed to inefficiency in ground handling operations, inefficiency in aircraft operations and increase in the number of aircraft. Results further showed that the compliance levels against CORSIA SARPs were low to medium. This is owing to the absence of an electronic platform to capture data relevant to determine emissions, absence of an independent emissions monitor, poor records keeping among the operators and non-operationalization of the Zambia’s Action Plan for the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Gas Emissions in Aviation. Based on these findings, the study concludes that, enhancing a low carbon aviation industry in Zambia requires improvement in ground handling operations, increase efficiency in aircraft operations, modernize navigation aids, shift from manual to electronic systems and increase access to data for monitoring purposes in meeting CORSIA requirements and appoint an independent emissions monitor to enhance transparency and credibility in the collection and analysis of data relevant to CORSIA requirements.
Thesis of Masters of Science Degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Management.