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Government climate policy still leaves aviation out of the picture

At the time of the 2009 budget the Government revealed its first set of carbon budgets, setting out the UK’s path towards an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. But aviation, it was announced, would not be covered in the short term, following the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

The Environmental Audit Committee – a group of MPs dedicated to assessing the environmental impact of all Government departments – has been examining how well the budgets recommended by the CCC correspond to the emissions reductions required by countries such as the UK to limit global warming to C: the Government’s target for “avoiding dangerous climate change”.

AEF’s submission to this inquiry is available here. It argues:

  • that the budgets are inconsistent with the 2050 target because they fail to include aviation
  • that the CCC’s recommendation that aviation emissions should be included in this long-term target is mis-reported in some Government publications, and
  • that the integrity of the UK’s carbon budgets will be compromised if no restrictions are placed on the use of credits from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as the scheme is not sufficiently stringent to be compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2˚C.