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UK Government establishes Jet Zero Council

Posted 15 June 2020 · Add Comment

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the establishment of the Jet Zero Council, bringing together government, industry and environmental groups, to help reduce aviation's carbon emissions.

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The aim of the Jet Zero Council is to provide a greener restart of the aviation industry, as it seeks to recover from the impact that COVID-19 has had on the travel sector.

Grant Shapps stressed that the aviation sector has had an impossible few month, yet despite the obvious challenges, there is a real determination within the industry to have a greener restart. He said: "Ww’re bringing together leaders from aviation, environmental groups and government to form the Jet Zero Council. This group will be charged with making net zero emissions possible for future flights.

"Our goal – within a generation – will be to demonstrate flight across the Atlantic, without harming the environment. And today we’re backing a company called Velocys who are building a plant for aviation biofuels in Lincolnshire.

"I’m also excited about a Cambridge University and Whittle Labs project to accelerate technologies for zero carbon flight."

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a Jet Zero Council, Karen Dee, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association (AOA), said: “The creation of this advisory body will help to ensure Government and Industry work in partnership to make net zero carbon emissions for the aviation industry a reality.

“Funding for sustainable aviation fuels will help to pump-prime an entirely new industry, generating new jobs and economic growth, while reducing emissions from international aviation.

“UK airports are doing all they can to reduce the carbon emissions from the operation on the ground, the announcement today will help industry meet its commitments in the sky as well.”

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry association representing UK-registered carriers, said: “It’s an excellent initiative and the Transport Secretary should be applauded for demonstrating such a willingness to work with the aviation industry to achieve our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

"There are huge opportunities for the UK to be a world-leader in sustainable aviation fuels production and electric aviation, creating thousands of high-skilled jobs and major export opportunities in the process. It’s a win-win for all of our regions who will stand to gain from this and for the UK’s decarbonisation efforts, and we’re looking forward to taking part.”  

Charlie Cornish, Group CEO of MAG, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said: “MAG has been a leader in making air travel more sustainable and we were the first airport operator in the UK to achieve carbon neutral status across all our operations.

“Earlier this year, we proudly signed the industry’s commitment to reaching full net zero carbon by 2050. This is a challenging target but one we can achieve by working collaboratively with Government. We therefore strongly welcome the new Jet Zero Council as a vital part of reaching that goal, and look forward to contributing to its work.”


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