Jet Zero: International Leadership

The DfT’s consultation states:

2.12 93% UK air passengers flew internationally in 2019, accounting for 96% total UK aviation emissions

2.13 We will work with other countries to reduce risk of adding cost only to the UK’s international aviation sector

2.14 Use international leadership and influence via ICAO and COP26 to secure agreement to a global long-term goal consistent with Paris Agreement – strengthening CORSIA and support true SAF

2.15 Work closely with partners and allies, support less experienced or resourced

2.16 This puts even bigger prize in reach: all international aviation emissions ~600Mt in 2019, 17x those of UK – global issue

Delivering partnership

2.17 Success depends on all parts of the sector and the public across the globe

2.18 In UK well under way via the Jet Zero Council, the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP), and the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG)

2.19 We will work closely with Sustainable Aviation which set out its net zero 2050 plan in 2020, and set interim targets

2.20 We will collaborate bilaterally via ICAO, ECAC and other forums

2.21 Partnership embedded, and also Gov may lead via R&D funding or policy and investment framework to get technologies deployed at scale

Jet Zero Council

The Jet Zero Council was set up in 2020 to focus government and industry on delivering zero emission transatlantic flight within a generation. It will consider how to develop and industrialise clean aviation and aerospace technologies, establish UK production facilities for sustainable aviation fuels and develop a coordinated approach to the policy and regulatory framework needed to deliver net zero aviation by 2050.

The ATI promotes transformative technology in air transport and developed the UK’s Aerospace Technology Strategy. This strategy aims to maintain UK’s competitive advantage in civil aerospace manufacturing as the sector accelerates the environmental performance of aircraft while developing emerging, and potentially transformative, zero emission technologies.

It complements the broader strategy for the sector created by the AGP – a joint government industry partnership to tackle barriers to growth, boost exports and grow high value aerospace jobs in the UK. Through the AGP and guided by the ATI’s technology strategy, government is investing £1.95bn, matched by industry, in mid-stage aerospace R&D through the ATI Programme.

Our comments:

Much of the above comes across as commercial tub-thumping for UK plc and its great industrial and strategic leadership and collaborative stance.

While this is all very well, initiatives are one thing but solid, proven road maps which produce clearly evidenced benefits are still some way off.

The Jet Zero Council has significant input from the Prime Minister who wants to look good at the COP summit, and is led by a Sec of State for transport who is a keen private aviator and is said to use a private jet registered in the US to enable anonymisation – we could not possibly comment.

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