British aviation carbon plan helps increase aircraft emissions

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The UK aviation industry has announced carbon targets that allow aircraft emissions to increase through the mid-2030s. It says purchasing carbon offsets will result in overall emissions reductions from 2019 levels.

This decision was welcomed by government ministers. But environmental groups have said the industry is “trying to have its cake and eat it” and said only reducing flights would ensure the carbon reductions needed to deal with the climate crisis. Aviation caused 7% of UK emissions in 2018.

UK climate change laws use 1990 as the base year and against this the aviation industry predicts that emissions are expected to double by 2030. The peak year for the sector’s emissions was 2019 , which is the year she chose to use.

The industry has said that sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), electric and hydrogen-powered planes, and changes to flight routes to shorten them will reduce emissions from flights in the future. But under the sector plan, emissions would increase in the mid-1930s due to the increasing number of thefts. Pay other sectors to eliminate CO2 of air reduces emissions by 15% by 2030 and 40% by 2040, compared to the peak year of 2019.

But compared to the 1990 benchmark, when aviation emissions were much lower, the level of future emissions targeted by the aviation industry is equivalent to an increase of about 105% in 2030 and 45% in 2040, according to Simon Evans of the Carbon Brief think tank.

Matt Finch, from the Transport & Environment campaign group, said: “The UK aviation industry is trying to have its cake and eat it, trying to get out of its dependence on emissions through offsets instead of targeting reductions. actual emissions. that increasing SAF levels and zero-emission aircraft would bring.

“British aviation is optimistically relying on suppression technologies that just don’t exist in the UK right now,” he said. “The 2050 endpoint for UK aviation should be to get its total emissions as close to zero as possible. Instead, he still plans to broadcast well over half of what he does today. It’s just not ambitious.

Cait Hewitt, Aviation Environment Federation, said: “To make net zero a reality, we need intermediate goals. But the industry’s plan is to allow aircraft emissions not only to rebound from the pandemic, but to actually continue to grow, peaking in the mid-2030s. “

“Until airlines start paying for and providing carbon capture technology, the only way to avoid aviation emissions is to not fly,” she said. . “The government’s consultation on net zero aviation will need to recognize the need to go beyond technology and include measures to limit aviation demand and airport capacity. It will not be acceptable to allow aviation demand and emissions to increase as we emerge from the pandemic in the hope that future fuels and technologies will save the day. “

But Adam Morton, president of the Sustainable Aviation Industry Group, said: “The [targets are] ambitious but achievable, and require significant cooperation between industry and government, as well as the policies and funding necessary to ensure the UK can build a leading SAF industry, create new clean aircraft and modernize the British airspace. The group said aviation offered major economic and social benefits to the UK.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: “The commitment shown by the industry today embodies the forward thinking attitude we need to decarbonize the sector and put the UK at the forefront. green aviation guard.

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