It is only a matter of time before Ireland’s conflicting priorities on climate change and aviation come in to land, most likely with a thud. The looming conflict is, for now, mostly unacknowledged by the industry and Government. But a clash is unavoidable and there is no Irish plan to manage a problem that could slap the aviation sector in the face like a wet fish.
About 20,000 politicians, scientists and policymakers will in coming days descend on Glasgow for the Cop26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. They won’t swim to Scotland; most will fly there because air travel is essential to how modern society functions. After they land, one of their main tasks will be to devise a deal to bring aviation emissions to net zero by 2050.