A representative public opinion poll conducted at the end of April showed that the majority of the Lithuanian residents consider industry, road transport, the waste sector and agriculture as the most polluting activities (in terms of carbon dioxide). A significant proportion of respondents (17%) indicated that aviation and air transport were among the activities that generate the largest carbon dioxide emissions.
According to aviation experts, global environmental analysis shows that the prevailing provisions do not correspond to reality and that aviation account for only about 2% of all the planet’s carbon dioxide emissions (similarly to water transport). Meanwhile, aviation accounts for less than 2% of carbon footprint in Lithuania and this number is very similar to that of rail transport. Ground transport accounts for the absolute largest share of emissions both in Lithuania and in the world - buses, trucks or cars generate almost a third of the total CO2 footprint.
According to environmental experts, part of the emissions generated by the aviation sector directly depend on the technologies installed in the aircraft.
“In the last decade, a technological breakthrough has been achieved, as aircraft fuel efficiency has increased by about 2% annually. Efficiency trends will not slow down this decade as well, since the aviation sector as a whole and all its players have set targets to drastically reduce their emissions by 2030, which are not even among the largest at the moment,” says Kristina Greičiūtė, Environmental Project Manager at Lithuanian Airports.
According to her, the aviation sector is making a voluntary commitment to CO2 neutrality. In terms of technological progress, the market is not only debating but also testing the first fully electric aircraft, with the option of hydrogen as a fuel for aircraft being explored in the long run.
“Lithuanian Airports are also taking initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. We apply a wide range of measures: we periodically audit our energy consumption, buy electricity only generated from renewable sources, invest in hybrid cars, and a large part of our activities in this area are related to investments in improving the energy efficiency of buildings. In the near future, we will go even further and include many other businesses operating at airports in emission reduction initiatives,” said Greičiūtė.
The poll showed that two thirds (66%) of the respondents believe that industry in Lithuania emits the most carbon dioxide in its activities. According to 60% of respondents, road transport (cars, trucks, buses) is among the largest emitters of CO2. The following areas were also named by the respondents as the largest emitters of CO2 in Lithuania: agriculture (29% of respondents), aviation (17% of respondents), railway transport (16% of respondents), maritime transport (5% of respondents).
A representative public opinion poll was performed on 20-28 April 2022. The poll included 1008 respondents aged 18 to 75 years. The poll was carried out by the company Spinter tyrimai.
ICAO has also released a calculator that allows you to calculate the carbon footprint of your chosen route.