in Aerospace

CCC puts forward recommendations on addressing IAS emissions

Posted 24 September 2019 · Add Comment

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has today published its letter from CCC Chairman, Lord Deben, to the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, about net-zero and the approach to international aviation and shipping (IAS) emissions.

The letter responds to the Government’s request on how to bring IAS emissions formally within the UK’s net-zero target, setting out the rationale and the implications for the UK’s climate strategy, outlining some key recommendations.

Summary of key CCC recommendations:

  • Addressing international aviation and shipping (IAS) emissions is strategically important. The primary policy approach to reducing IAS emissions should be international. Formal inclusion of IAS emissions in the UK net-zero target would complement agreed international policies and should not be interpreted as a unilateral UK approach to reducing emissions in these sectors.
  • The planning assumption for international aviation and shipping should be to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This should be reflected in the Government’s forthcoming Aviation Strategy and as their Clean Maritime Plan is taken forward. It means reducing actual emissions in these sectors and is likely to require some use of greenhouse gas removals (GGRs) to offset remaining emissions.
  • The Government can take steps towards enabling international aviation and shipping to reach net-zero emissions in the UK and internationally by establishing a new market for GGRs. Such a strategy could create a significant new global export opportunity for the UK in greenhouse gas removal technology and expertise.

The CCC also contacted Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom on carbon emissions from aviation.

Responding to publication of the letter, ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “The UK aerospace industry recognises its responsibility to cut the environmental impact of flying and is committed to playing its part in achieving the net zero target.

“To reduce global CO2 emissions, aviation companies are investing heavily in improvements to current technology, sustainable aviation fuels, and radical new aircraft and propulsion technologies.

“This is a global issue. Industry and government must work closely together to make sure international regulatory approaches work effectively and investment is attracted into the UK for our world-leading aerospace industry to develop the next generation of clean aerospace technology.”

The UK aerospace sector has invested £22 billion in green technology R&D since 2005. In that time, UK demand for flights has risen 28%, while emissions from aviation have fallen 3.5%.

Successful long-term industrial strategy programmes like the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) are supporting development of advanced green technology here in the UK, while the recently launched Future Flight Challenge sees £125 million investment by the Government matched by £175 million from industry.

Each generation of aircraft is around 20% more efficient than the last, while fuel efficiency has improved 1.5% a year since 2009 as improved technology is introduced on new aircraft and airline fleets are updated.

ADS is the UK trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, with more than 1,000 member businesses.


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