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AEF briefing on CCCs advice to government

6th June, 2012

AEF has published a briefing paper on the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advice to Government regarding inclusion of aviation emissions in the UK’s carbon budget.

See below for a summary of the advice and AEF’s view. See brief on CCC advice for full explanation and comment.  See also earlier report.  


In April 2012, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advised the government that there were no longer good reasons to exclude either aviation or shipping from UK’s carbon budgets.

CCC advises that aviation should be included in the UK’s carbon budgets at an annual level of 31 MtCO2 (million tonnes of carbon dioxide). This is based on the UK’s share of the cap imposed on airlines by the EU ETS (from 2013 onwards, 95% of the average level of aviation emissions between 2004 and 2006).

CCC also advises that the Government should assume for planning purposes that international aviation emissions in the UK are no higher in 2050 than they were in 2005. In other words no higher than 35 MtCO2e.

In its 2009 analysis CCC estimated that air traffic could rise by 60% between 2005 and 2050 while keeping 2050 CO2 emissions at 2005 levels. (Keeping 2050 levels down to 2005 levels was the government target.) However, the current government forecast is for a 129% increase in traffic and an increase in CO2 of 40%.                

AEF says “We strongly support CCC’s recommendation that aviation be included in the UK’s carbon budgets. We also support the recommendation that the appropriate figure to be entered into these budgets is the UK’s share of the EU ETS cap for aviation, namely 31 MtCO2, though we would support a tightening of this cap in future which would, in turn, require a lower figure for aviation to be entered into the UK’s carbon budgets. Finally, we strongly support the setting of a complementary target or planning assumption relating to actual (gross rather than net) emissions from UK aviation. However, we regard 35 MtCO2 – a level 4 Mt higher than the figure to be entered into the carbon accounts – as insufficiently stringent.”