Soria Baledón, Mónica, Marcel Trudel, & Nicolás Kosoy (2021, May). Alternative jet fuels and climate geopolitics: What, why does it and who matters in the environmental policy-making process. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 15. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1080/15568318.2021.1912225) (Link:

Abstract: Annual emissions from commercial aviation are forecast to reach 1820 MtCO2 by mid-century, where carbon-neutral growth would demand near full substitution of petroleum-based aviation fuels with alternative jet fuels (AJF). However, the lack of dedicated policies and harmonized regulations has been perceived by stakeholders within the air transport community as the major contributor to shortfalls in global production over the past decade (<0.01% of the total aviation fuel demand). This research combines qualitative and mixed methods to study stakeholder perceptions by identifying and analyzing collective narratives on AJF (what matters, why does it and who says so) influencing the policy process at the ICAO. Q-method allowed to identify four metanarratives across participants, three of which have a distinctive weak sustainability approach to international aviation’s growth and one that is typically representative of a strong sustainability approach. This method also revealed a common ground of beliefs and understandings among stakeholders that could facilitate the discussion, negotiation and consensus of some of the multidimensional nuances inherent to the metanarratives analyzed. By classifying stakeholders’ salience based on their possession of power, legitimacy and urgency as dynamic and relational attributes to the ICAO, the authors suggest options to bring valuable expertise from low-salient and non-stakeholders into the formulation of policies on AJF through a variety of collaborative arrangements with medium and highly salient stakeholders. The role of AJF is further explored within the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, the flygskam movement in Europe, and the impending renewal of climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Mónica Soria Baledón <> is in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Ste.-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

Leave a Reply