Fix the Planet newsletter: Why planes need a battery breakthrough

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man walking towards a passenger plane

This is Fix the Planet, the weekly climate change newsletter that reminds you there are reasons for hope in science and technology around the world. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

Judging from recent conversations I’ve been having, many people soon plan to fly for the first time since covid-19 arrived. Air travel is still expected to take at least another year or two to return to pre-pandemic levels, but as the aviation industry does recover, you can expect its climate change impact to return to the fore.

The issue with aviation is not so much its size today – it’s about 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions – but the rapid rate at which its emissions are growing. This year, a new supersonic plane (Boom’s XB-1) is due to have its first flight, raising the prospect of a new wave of…

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