Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Norway Aims for Electric Planes to Help Slow Climate Change

Climate
Norway Aims for Electric Planes to Help Slow Climate Change
Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are developing hybrid electric commercial airplane plane. Airbus

Norway—home to the world's highest per capita number of all-electric cars—is also planning to go emission-free in the friendly skies.

The Scandinavian country aims to be the first in the world to switch to electric air transport.


State-owned Avinor, which operates most of the country's airports, plans to adopt battery-powered planes in the coming years to help slow climate change, Reuters reported.

"In my mind, there's no doubt that by 2040 Norway will be operating totally electric" on short-haul flights, Dag Falk-Pedersen, head of Avinor, said at an aviation conference in Oslo.

The long-held dream of electric airliners has been stymied by battery technology and limited range. However, the aviation industry is stepping up to make this dream a reality.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens announced plans last year to collaborate on a hybrid-electric commercial airplane that the companies aim to test by 2020. Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero—backed by the venture capital arms of Boeing and JetBlue Airways—is also working on bringing a 12-seater, hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market by 2022.

Thanks to generous tax breaks and incentives such as free parking and recharging points, more than half of all new cars sold in Norway last year were electric or hybrid—the first country in the world to reach that landmark. Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen told Reuters that the government wants the same success with electric planes.

Paradoxically, despite being a global leader in electric transport, Norway is western Europe's biggest oil producer and is falling behind on its 2015 Paris climate agreement to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Electric-powered flight would not only help Norway reduce emissions and meet its climate goals, it will make flying cheaper, as Jan Otto Reimers, special adviser in Avinor, told Norway Today.

"What's particularly exciting is that you'll reduce costs to passengers to a much lower level. The planes will become similar to buses, and will be far more effective than trains or other means of transport. Simultaneously, they'll have a fantastic environmental profile," said Reimers.

Recycling and general waste plastic wheelie bins awaiting collection for disposal in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim Graham / Getty Images

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. According to The National Museum of American History, this popular slogan, with its iconic three arrows forming a triangle, embodied a national call to action to save the environment in the 1970s. In that same decade, the first Earth Day happened, the EPA was formed and Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, encouraging recycling and conservation of resources, Enviro Inc. reported.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The coal-fired Huaneng Power Plant in Huai 'an City, Jiangsu Province, China on Sept. 13, 2020. Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

One of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic was the record drop in greenhouse gas emissions following national lockdowns. But that drop is set to all but reverse as economies begin to recover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A grizzly bear killed an outdoor guide in a rare attack near Yellowstone Park. William Campbell / Corbis / Getty Images

A backcountry guide has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

Read More Show Less
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) re-introduces the Green New Deal in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2021. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to "tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet."

Read More Show Less
Offshore oil and gas drillers have left more than 18,000 miles of pipelines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Offshore oil and gas drillers have discarded and abandoned more than 18,000 miles of pipelines on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.

Read More Show Less