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Commission must set out the choice for Government between airport growth or adherence to the Climate Act, argues AEF

5th June, 2013

Continuing to account for aviation under the Climate Act would mean that options for changes to UK airport capacity are very limited, argues AEF in its response to the Airports Commission’s paper on climate change. The Commission, we suggest, must not shy away from the fact that the Government will face a stark choice between undermining its world-leading climate legislation or increasing the UK’s overall airport capacity, and any consideration of new runways or airports that the Airports Commission undertakes during 2014 should come with this caveat.

The AEF submission:

  • Provides a reminder of the urgency of climate action
  • Argues that the Commission’s analysis of ‘carbon leakage’ is divorced from reality given its assumption that no other European airports will face constraints (whether as a result of popular protest or government policy)
  • Highlights that while the UK has a commitment to an 80% cut in CO2 emissions, the EU as a whole is committed to emissions cuts of 80-95%, and each of our hub competitors has domestic climate commitments at least as stringent as those in the UK
  • Demonstrates why adherence to the Climate Act will require additional Government action to limit the growth of aviation emissions (for example through financial measures or airport capacity constraints), and debunks the industry argument against a national aviation CO2 target, and
  • Gives evidence for the importance of domestic action to manage aviation emissions as a complement (not an alternative) to international measures.


Our full response is available here.

Our initial reaction, and the Commission’s paper, are available from this earlier news item.