Jet Zero consultation: is Grant Shapps Hero or Nero?

The government’s Jet Zero “strategy” is out for consultation until 8th September. It flies in the face of advice from the Climate Change Committee and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by spectacularly failing to address the challenge of urgently reducing aviation emissions.

Instead, reflecting Sec of State Grant Shapps’ own enthusiasm for flying, the DfT’s consultation document proposes permitting UK aviation to continue to expand, gambling the future of the climate on aspirational technologies such as electric or hydrogen-powered planes. In the meantime, “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” and “Offsetting” are its only proposals, neither of which yet stands up to environmental scrutiny.

The Jet Zero consultation appears to be more about banging the drum for UK leadership and promoting futuristic and as-yet undeveloped and unproven technologies so as to look good at COP26, than about meeting the urgent challenges of the climate change crisis. It proposes to do little until it’s too late. Waiting until 2030 before starting to reduce UK aviation emissions, and hence ignoring the IPCC’s Code Red warning, is to fiddle while Rome burns.

Because so little time has been allowed for consultation, we have provided some suggested responses, although if you have time it is far better to do some research and make the points in your own words.

Brief responses to consultation questions

For those who have the time we have summarised the points in the 52-page consultation document on the following pages so you can see more clearly what the government is proposing. A valuable briefing published by “Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport”, which provides analysis and references to debunk the DfT’s woefully inadequate approach, can be downloaded from our website at this link: GALBA Jet Zero Briefing

The consultation document and information on how to respond (either by emailing a response or filling in an online form) is on the DfT website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/achieving-net-zero-aviation-by-2050

Our pages containing the summary of all the DfT’s points are here:

Overall strategy

Introduction

Approach and Principles

International Leadership

System efficiencies

“Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF)

Zero Emissions Flight

Markets and removals

Influencing consumers

Non-CO2 impacts

Conclusion