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Joint NGO-industry letter calls for inclusion of aviation and shipping in carbon budgets

14th December, 2012

A joint industry-NGO letter in today’s Times calls on the Government to formally include emissions from both international aviation and shipping in carbon budgets.

The letter was signed by AEF, Campaign for Better Transport,  CPRE, Friends of the Earth, the UK Chamber of Shipping, and WWF-UK.

Under the Climate Act 2008 a decision must be made by the end of this year in relation to these two sectors, and the Government’s official advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, have recommended inclusion.

The full text of the letter is below. A similar letter to ministers was sent earlier this week.


NGOs, together with the shipping industry, are jointly calling on ministers to accept the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in the carbon budgets required under the UK’s Climate Change Act. The Government must take a decision on this by the end of the year.

It is central to the integrity of the Act that all sectors of the economy should contribute towards a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050. But international aviation and shipping are not yet formally counted in the system of five yearly ‘carbon budgets’. These set limits on the total emissions allowed from the UK which help to create certainty for investors.

At the recent Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, representatives from both international aviation and shipping industries said they agreed with the findings of the CCC and saw no reason to continue to exclude these sectors from UK carbon budgets. The shipping industry considered that a failure to include shipping emissions would detract from substantial progress on reducing emissions by the International Maritime Organisation. Aviation representatives said that they were comfortable with the CCC’s recommendations in relation to international aviation emissions.

With the UN now having committed to announcing a global policy framework for aviation carbon emissions in 2013, and efficiency measures for shipping having already been agreed, the time is right for the UK to commit to including international aviation and shipping in our carbon accounts, bringing the sector into line with our world-leading legal framework for tackling climate change.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Johnson, Director, Aviation Environment Federation

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport

Neil Sinden, Director of Policy & Campaigns, Campaign to Protect Rural England

Andy Atkins, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth (EWNI)

Mark Brownrigg OBE, Director General, UK Chamber of Shipping

David Nussbaum, CEO, WWF-UK