Energy and Environment commission

1 – Objectives and mission:

  1. The main objective of the commission is to support and participate in the action of AAE in favour of sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation. As this sector (civil and military) will in time be in a certain confrontation with other sectors of transport and the broader society in terms of energy and anthropic climate effects, the commission will have to take an interest in aspects beyond aeronautics and even outside transport, such as the availability of renewable primary energy and the chemistry of the upper atmosphere. In this context, cooperation with the Académie des Technologies will be sought. The Civil Aviation Commission (CAC) having in its statutes a wide field of action, including in fact the reduction of aircraft consumption and non-climatic environmental effects (noise etc.) the subjects dealt with will be the subject of close consultation with it.
  2. Mission: To develop and communicate a robust message on the strategies and conditions to achieve environmental neutrality of European and global aviation [1] by 2050, while satisfying the objectives of connectivity, economic performance and competitiveness. To this end, identify in particular the energy developments, the regulatory framework and the investments necessary to achieve them. To this end, identify in particular the energy developments, the regulatory framework and the investments needed to achieve this. This message should be based on a body of scientific, technical, operational, industrial, economic and societal data and analysis that is as robust, objective and unbiased as possible, taking into account the most recent developments. The results of its work may be published in the form of dossiers, or otherwise, in accordance with AAE procedures.

2 – Priority topics (vision September 2021)

Biofuels and e-fuels (Btl and Ptl):

  1. State of the art: physico-chemical techniques either mature or under study, update on their industrialisation, primary energy requirements. GHG balance of their complete cycles.
  2. Economic aspects Projections: quantities, costs (Capex-Opex)
  3. Progress towards 100% mixing approval (engine manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers andASTM).
  4. European and non-European roadmaps

Production and use of liquid (LH2) or gaseous (GH2) hydrogen:

  1. Production of GH2 and LH2: State of the art: physico-chemical techniques mature or under study, point on their industrialization, need for primary energy. GHG balance of their complete cycles.
  2. Refuelling and employment on board. Final energy efficiency (GH2 and LH2) per pax-km. Aircraft projects.

Availability of primary renewable energy (and/or arable land and waste)

  1. To meet the energy needs of aviation.
  2. Vision of the energy sector, global, European and national. Competition with other industrial sectors. European strategy and national roadmaps.

Climate effects of aviation, CO2 and non-CO2, a global vision:

  1. State of the art, articles on metrics, models and measurements (wakes, ground, satellites).
  2. Proposed strategies to reduce effects (new “de-romanticized” fuels, avoidance of critical areas, ATM, engine progress, etc.).
  3. Documentation situating aviation in the overall climate effects of anthropogenic origin.

Strategies and trajectories:

  1. Economic, regulatory and strategic aspects: market based measures -ETS, CORSIA-, taxation, SAF mix mandate, international standards, bans on short flights, strategy of decarbonization of aviation and transport in general. Price-demand elasticity
  2. Verifiable carbon footprints of the Transport sector (total and per pax-km)
  3. Effects on air transport of technical and societal developments outside aviation (more “remote”? less globalized economy? Flight shaming/Aviation scapegoat?)
  4. Refutation of messages from the media or misinformed organizations.
  5. General topics beyond the above frameworks.

3 – Working mode

Preamble: The subjects to be dealt with are by nature very diverse, often multidisciplinary and on the margins of the experience acquired by most academicians. The collection, sorting[2] and analysis of external information is therefore a key element of the work to be provided. It is therefore proposed a collaborative mode whose product is discussed, studied, developed and then published at its various stages on shared tools i.e. internal and external internet. By the way, this work could create the germ of the observatories cited in Opinion n°13, or at least indicate what they could be[3].

The quality of the “production” and the energy of those who will disseminate it will give legitimacy to the “robust message on the strategies and conditions to achieve the environmental neutrality of European and global aviation by 2050”.

Through a “bottom up” process based on the multiple skills and collaboration of C2E members and their contacts at all levels, personal, AAE, non-AAE, national and international, we will constitute a corpus of documentation kept up to date and accessible via the internet, gradually covering the (five)[4] priority topics mentioned above, open to various opinions as long as they are reasonable, synthesized, validated, popularized and/or commented upon the case.

It will be usable to communicate and will have an educational aspect (internet visibility, industrial and political contacts, conferences, relations with the Press, Schools, Toulouse Interviews, social networks …) .

This will not happen overnight. Two actions are proposed to begin with:

  1. Collect, sort and produce up-to-date and relevant information to support the PPA’s efforts. Draw from it relexions and syntheses at various levels and various destinations.
  2. Set up a “showcase” of this information, sorted and commented, independent, updated regularly (at least quarterly) and thus filling a gap in the media and political field largely occupied today by often partisan actors.

Then and only then, if we have produced quality informative documents, we can propose an embryo of an observatory and forum.

The details of the organization of this collective effort are proposed in the annex.

4 – Constitution

4.1 In order to have a sufficient field of competence, the Commission is made up of members from all the Sections of the Academy wishing to contribute and whose competence corresponds to the subjects dealt with. As most of these topics are international in scope, the participation of non-French European members will be encouraged.

4.2 In addition, like any commission of the Academy, it may seek input from persons outside the Academy, from Europe and beyond, whose specific skills are recognised.

4.3 The Commission is chaired at its creation by Xavier Bouis, member of the Academy.

4.4 The Annex lists to date the first persons identified as being able to contribute effectively to the work of the C2E. This list will be completed quickly at the start of the activity and will be expected to evolve over time according to the interest of the people or the completion of the subjects who concerned them.


The C2E is approved for its operation for each cycle of activities.

[1] With more distant deadlines (2070) for emerging countries

[2] The almost total occupation of the media field by partisan actors propagating often grossly false “fake fake news” about air transport is a fact that must be taken into account. The information and opinions drawn up by the AAE will therefore have to be all the more substantiated and verifiable.

[3] Opinion n° 13: The Academy recommends that public and private actors join forces to create an observatory of the decarbonisation of air transport in order to work on bases recognized by all, credible and transparent (Rec1).
The Academy recommends the creation of a forum for aviation practices, which could be European (Rec12).

[4] This distribution may evolve if the logic of the reflections requires it

Documents and Media

Access all the documents and media published by the commission.

Members of the commission

To see the composition of the commission