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Climate Change Bill set to exclude the fastest growing source of carbon emissions

The Climate Change Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords this week, setting out the government’s plans to reduce UK carbon emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2050. But the fastest-growing contributor to climate change – international aviation – is specifically excluded from the target.

Aviation already accounts for 5.9% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and its contribution is set to rise dramatically as the sector grows. The AEF responded to a draft version of the bill, recommending that despite lack of international agreement on how best to allocate carbon emissions to individual states, it is essential to include emissions from both international aviation and international shipping from the start. The UK is already required to submit data on emissions from international bunker fuels to UNFCCC, so it would be straightforward to account for the emissions from both shipping and aviation in line with the Climate Change Bill’s targets.

The bill will have its second reading in the House of Lords on the 27th November, and AEF will be campaigning for it to be amended. We are also supporting calls for the 60% target to be toughened, and for binding targets to be set more regularly than the current proposal of every 5 years, to ensure that action on climate change starts now.

For the AEF’s response to the draft bill, see our view. The bill itself can be downloaded from the parliament web site.