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Environment

An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), published early August, alerts us on the existence of a tipping point, potentially around + 2°C, from which the terrestrial system would diverge even if all CO2 emissions were very quickly reduced, by a domino effect between the major mechanisms affecting the climate (melting of polar caps, ocean circulation, Amazonian forest…). This alert, darker than the previous ones, calls for action very quickly.

On 5th September, Airbus officially announced its entry into the Hydrogen Council.

Created in Davos in June 2017, this organization aims at drawing the attention of all civil society actors to the possibilities that hydrogen offers in the energy transition. However hydrogen is not a source of energy, but a vector, allowing to store and transport energy and then to use it without dissipating CO2 in the atmosphere. Only electrolysis from excess green energy (solar, wind, hydraulic) produces hydrogen without emitting CO2. This process has to be developed to a larger scale, as of today 99% hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels.

On 14th of September, Tom Enders signed the new version of the environmental policy where Airbus is committing, beyond the regulations applicable to the aeronautical industry, to contribute to the achievement of the Paris Agreement objectives on climate change, which is a remarkable breakthrough.

Many research projects would make it possible to move forward in this way, in the field of materials –recycling of composite materials, bio-sourced materials – flight optimization – flight in squadron, air traffic optimisation – and Energy management – bio fuels, fuel cells, electric airplane, batteries ensuring a structural function… However, the Research budget has been declining steadily since 2014 (5.6% of revenue in 2014 and only 4.2% in 2017).

Airbus has the ambition to contribute to the fight against global warming.To meet this fundamental challenge, Airbus needs to increase their Research fundings.