UK aviation industry pledges zero net carbon emissions by 2050

Cleaner engines, new fuels and planting trees will reduce carbon footprint while allowing traffic to increase 30%
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British airways, Sustainable Aviation, Heathrow
British Airways

The major airlines, airports and aerospace manufacturers in the UK have agreed to slash net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, while at the same time planning for 70% more air passengers.

Sustainable Aviation’s members have set out a plan of how they will aim to reduce emissions, with more than a third being achieved through carbon offsetting.

The coalition has published a “decarbonisation road map” setting out how the industry will aim to reduce its emissions.

It includes smarter flight operations, new aircraft and engine technology, modernising airspace and investing in sustainable aviation fuels.

Neil Robinson, chair of Sustainable Aviation, said: “The UK is well positioned to become one of the leaders in the green technologies of the future, including sustainable aviation fuels and electric flight, creating highly-skilled and well-paid jobs in the process, and we look forward to working in partnership with Ministers to help realise these opportunities.”

But campaigners are sceptical that the new strategy will do enough to cut emissions. Some have said that so-called sustainable aviation fuels still pollute and are sceptical about the effectiveness of carbon offsetting.

Sustainable Aviation said the UK industry is able to cut its CO2 emissions from 30 million tonnes a year to zero, without restricting growth.

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