The government has ignored a key recommendation of its own advisory body, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), that continued expansion of the aviation industry is, under all scenarios of technological advance, incompatible with its 2050 net zero target. The aviation industry’s principal goal, its own continued growth, has been adopted by the government as its own. The Jet Zero projection for aviation CO2 emissions is an increase over the next decade from 37 million tonnes (Mt) in 2019 to 39 Mt in 2030, before a decline to 21 Mt in 2050. At that point, aviation will be ‘net zero’—assuming that those 21 Mt are captured and stored, or offset. That the chosen target dates, 2040 and 2050 for domestic and international aviation respectively, are far beyond the lifespan of the current government is significant. The methods proposed to achieve decarbonisation are overwhelmingly technological. As spelled out by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, the focus will be on “biofuels and electric aircraft.” The model for aviation is the electric vehicles (EVs) strategy for road transport: a ‘business as usual’ approach that assumes ever-growing sales, little or no demand management, and a high-stakes gamble on technology.
Ecologist 27th Aug 2021 read more »
A return flight from the UK to New York could cost the global economy more than $3,000 (£2,170) in the long run, owing to the effects of the climate crisis, according to a report. Researchers examined the economic cost of the climate crisis and found it would cut about 37% from global GDP this century, more than twice the drop experienced in the Great Depression. A British Airways Boeing 747 aircraft makes a flypast over London Heathrow airport.
Guardian 6th Sept 2021 read more »
A barrier to the expansion of Heathrow was cleared yesterday when the government refused to review its decision to give the green light to a third runway. Ministers have faced pressure to scrap approval for a two-mile runway at the airport, which was granted in 2018, because of escalating concerns about climate change. Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that the government’s backing for the Heathrow plan was unlawful because it failed to take account of commitments to limit rises in global temperatures. This was overturned by the Supreme Court in December but the government still faced calls to review its entire policy on airport expansion.
Times 7th Sept 2021 read more »