The latest United Nations report on increasing dangers posed by climate change sharpens focus on how we live our lives in New Zealand and how people get here.
This country is heavily reliant on aviation for the movement of people and goods - some lifesaving, in the case of Covid-19 vaccines delivered in their millions by airlines during the last 15 months.
The international flights that keep New Zealand connected are returning after a pandemic pause and will again be part of aviation's contribution to about 2.4 per cent of global CO2 emissions. The rate has been increasing at around 2.5 per cent a year for the past two decades.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites a study warning that air travel's residual emissions of CO2 today will still have a warming effect for thousands of years and water vapour, soot, and nitrogen oxide will contribute to warming for decades.
Aviation is widely recognised as a "hard-to-decarbonise" sector with almost total dependence on fossil fuels and investment of billions of dollars in infrastructure and planes that are locked in for decades.
Despite the growing interest in aviation biofuels, demand and production mainly from vegetable oils and fats remain negligible, the report finds.
Overseas, airlines are signing up to sustainable aviation fuels (Saf) to supplement jet fuel on some routes as it can be dropped into existing infrastructure and safely used in aircraft engines.
That makes it the best near-term bet for international flights ahead of hydrogen technology and battery planes, adequate only for short hops with limited passengers.
Here, Air New Zealand has aspirations to power 10 per cent of its fleet with green avgas by 2030 and is working with government agencies and industry partners.
The IPCC says mid-century projections for substantial use of biofuels in the aviation sector could be achieved only with very large capital investments in Saf production infrastructure, and ''substantial'' policy support.
Producing Saf on the scale needed will require supercharged technology to squeeze it from plant feedstocks, including wood waste. Although there will be more demands on industries and power generation, New Zealand has abundant supplies.
This country is at the end of some of the longest and most polluting air routes and must do more to lead the charge.
Aside from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment working with industry and the possibility of mandated minimum Saf use around the middle of the decade, there has been little visible commitment from this Government. There has certainly been no ''nuclear-free moment'' style rhetoric.
Air New Zealand's sustainability panel warns that without a local Saf industry, this country will continue to be a price taker internationally for fuelling planes. Worse, increasingly carbon-conscious travellers may be reluctant to come.
The Government threw close to $300 million at a few tourism businesses under a flawed scheme early in the pandemic.
An investment on a similar scale with the right partners could put us on a course for truly sustainable tourism and travel.