Sustainable Aviation response to Committee on Climate Change letter on international aviation and net zero

September 24, 2019

Responding to the publication of a formal letter from the Committee on Climate Change, to the Department for Transport, setting out its view on how international aviation should play its part in achieving a net zero carbon future, Neil Robinson, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, said:

“Climate change is a clear and pressing issue for people, businesses and governments across the world, and we welcome the leadership shown by Ministers in legislating for the UK to be net zero by 2050. We believe that through an international approach, with the right Government support, and together with substantial investment from industry, net zero is within reach for UK aviation if we all play our part.

“Building on the work we’ve already done, we should continue to develop new technologies, including working with fuel producers to develop sustainable aviation fuels and the successful introduction of global offsetting schemes through which airlines will pay for any extra emissions they create. By investing tens of billions of pounds in new, cleaner aircraft we have already decoupled growth in aviation from growth in emissions, and as a global industry we have a long established plan to halve our emissions by 2050.

“Carbon reduction, however, is a global issue requiring a global response, with governments and industry working closely together, and for emissions to be managed within an international framework.

“If the UK climate ambition is not matched elsewhere, the global market would be distorted with carbon emissions simply exported to other countries, which would be bad for the environment and bad for British travellers. We are therefore urging Ministers to continue leading through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to agree a meaningful global emissions reduction target for aviation, consistent with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.”