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Database Provider


Magdalena Heuwieser


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, Europe



The Illusion of Green Flying

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  • This 24-page report discusses the many ways that the goals for reducing or offsetting emissions to allow for carbon-neutral growth in aviation may not be realistic solutions in the near term and could even be counterproductive.
  • The article includes infographics, graphs, and specific examples from around the world.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource describes how aviation contributes to climate injustice because of the major disparities in who can afford to fly.
  • It identifies biofuels as a pseudo-solution, highlighting the numerous negative impacts of industrial agriculture.
  • It highlights the unintended consequences of carbon offsets.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before reading this report, students should have a strong understanding of climate change and related topics such as carbon offsetting and the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • The article is very long and it would be good to break it up into chunks or assign select pages.


  • Students may be surprised to learn that efforts to improve efficiencies and offset emissions from aviation may not be as beneficial as intended, but this could provide an opportunity for students to discuss ways to support the solutions and improve current efforts.
  • Social studies courses can discuss the social costs of airport construction, airport expansion, carbon offsets, biofuels, and climate pollution from a growing aviation industry.
  • Civics courses can discuss the role of government and international agreements in regulating the aviation industry and minimizing its environmental impact.
  • Physics courses can research potential technological advancements to improve the efficiency of aircrafts.
Scientist Notes
The resource is recommended for teaching environmental justice. Data used to give insights on aircraft emission is accurate.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • 9-10.RST.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • 11-12.RST.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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