10th February, 2016
The Energy and Climate Select Committee has published evidence submitted in response to its inquiry into the fifth carbon budget. AEF’s response argues for the importance of accounting for aviation emissions in carbon budgets, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The Energy and Climate Committee – a cross party group of MPs – is considering the advice of the CCC and the challenges likely to face the Government in delivering the budget.
Carbon budgets cover five-year periods and ensure that the UK is on-track to deliver the legislated long-term target of an 80% cut in total emissions by 2050. The Government must decide on the fifth carbon budget by June this year, taking account of the CCC’s advice published in November. CCC’s recommendations for the overall level of carbon budgets have so far all been approved by Government.
AEF’s submission to the inquiry supports the CCC’s recommendation that aviation emissions must be accounted for in the setting of the fifth carbon budget to provide the appropriate framework for future climate change policy. Following the CCC’s recommendation ensures that aviation emissions remain part of the overall UK picture. We argue that this is particularly important now as the Government has indicated its theoretical support for a new runway in the South East, which could significantly increase the scale of the UK aviation emissions challenge.
We were disappointed that the CCC did not recommend formal inclusion of aviation in the carbon budget, which would provide greater certainty in relation to the sector’s future development. However, we believe that the CCC’s recommended approach of setting the budget with a view to aviation’s formal inclusion in future budgets provides a ‘next best’ alternative.
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