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AEF Newsletter: Time for a plan to achieve net zero aviation

7th July, 2021

Call on Government to introduce moratorium on UK airport expansions

Until the Government has a net zero plan for the aviation sector, including a national strategy for airport capacity which acknowledges the need for carbon constraints on growth, the Government must introduce an immediate moratorium on all UK airport expansion, AEF and fifteen community campaign groups told Government in May… read more

Industry sets interim climate targets … which allow emissions to grow

Following the Government’s recent announcement that the UK’s net zero legislation would be extended to cover international aviation, the UK aviation industry has set out its interim targets to cut aviation emissions. Whilst interim targets are key to making net zero a reality, industry’s plans allow its actual emissions to continue growing, peaking in the mid 2030s at a level higher than 2019, a record year for aviation CO2… read more

CCC progress report to parliament critical of delays to government net zero aviation plan

The government climate advisor’s report identifies major gaps in policy and is critical of delays to the publishing of key government plans and strategies, including the long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan and the Net Zero Aviation Strategy. It also sets out a series of recommendations, including that the Net Zero Aviation Strategy should include an assessment of the UK’s airport capacity strategy… read more

Cutting tax on domestic routes which have reasonable lower carbon alternatives sends wrong message on climate

As ministers in France vote through a domestic flight ban, the UK Government has floated cutting Air Passenger Duty for domestic flights in the UK. In our response to the consultation on aviation tax reform, which closed in June, AEF expressed opposition to any reduction in taxes for an already under-taxed industry… read more

Supersonic revival is a really bad idea

In June, a new partnership was announced between United Airlines and start-up Boom Supersonic which could see supersonics carrying passengers again as soon as 2029. According to the ICCT, supersonics burn an average of five – seven times more fuel per passenger than a subsonic flight. Even if supersonics use sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), their fuel demands will be huge, while SAF is likely to be in limited supply (currently, less than 0.02% of total fuel used in aircraft is SAF). And the most impacted communities could be exposed to up to 150-200 sonic booms per day.

In other news

‘If we want to keep flying, we need zero carbon fuels and significant amounts of carbon removals. At the moment, neither of these things are happening’, says AEF’s Cait Hewitt on Green Alliance’s Insights podcast… read more

The aviation industry should be focusing on reducing emissions from flights rather than relying on carbon offsets, which risk creating the impression airlines are taking real action to reduce emissions, AEF told the Guardian recently… read more

Fundamentally, communities want less noise, AEF’s Tim Johnson writes for ICCAN, but they also want to feel confident the way noise is measured and recorded paints an accurate picture of their experiences… read more

How important is business travel? AEF explores the answer to this question over on FlightFreeUK’s blog… read more

Long reads

Report: Rising use of private jets sends CO2 emissions soaring | Transport & Environment 

Report: How the aviation industry has lobbied to weaken and delay climate regulation | Influence Map 

Report: A route to climate-friendly travel choices | Possible

What’s coming up?

Hopefully soon: The DfT’s Net Zero Aviation Strategy and its Transport Decarbonisation Plan are expected before Parliament’s summer recess.

3rd September: The closing date for the consultation on night flight restrictions has been extended to 3rd September 2021. This will also allow respondents an opportunity to comment on the CAA’s SoNA 2014: Aircraft Noise and Sleep report which is expected to be published shortly.

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