If we’re looking for every last way to treat our air better in order to stave off climate change, a new scientific report suggests that short-haul drone delivery of small packages could be promising.
Notwithstanding the many other regulatory issues surrounding drone delivery–and there are many standing in the way of such a thing being commonplace anytime soon–the report, published in Nature Communications, concludes that at short distances, deliveries of packages under 1.1 pounds by small drones like a DJI Phantom, generated less carbon emissions than that of a delivery truck–even one that’s electric.
This could be an important finding, given how many deliveries there are in dense urban environments. To be sure, drones won’t be dropping packages off in such places until it’s clear such a thing can be done safely, though there does appear to be some momentum in that direction. But when and if that happens, a sky full of delivery drones could mean cleaner air–as measured by particulate matter. Sound pollution, on the other hand, would be another thing altogether.