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It’s 13% – official!

21st May, 2007

Government says that aviation accounts for 13% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

In answer to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) on 2nd May 2007, aviation minister Gillian Merron said that “Using a radiative forcing multiplier of two, emissions from flights departing the UK contributed approximately 13 per cent of total UK emissions in 2005.” Radiative forcing factors are used to adjust figures for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions so that they accurately reflect the warming effects of other gases. The combined warming effect of aviation emissions – including soot, nitrogen oxides and water vapour – is nearly double that of CO2 alone.

The figure of 13% is consistent with our own estimate and highlights the campaign of misinformation being run by the aviation industry, which often claims aviation is responsible for just 2% of anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide emissions. 2% or, with the radiative forcing multiplier, 4% is an estimate of aviation’s contribution to global emissions; the figure for the UK is much higher and is set to grow.

See spin and facts on aviation’s contribution.