Jet zero: Introduction

The DfT’s introduction, with the original section numbers, says:

1.1 The UK and aviation go hand-in-hand and flight is essential for the economy and jobs and trade, and the ambitions of Global Britain

1.2 Aviation will have had £7bn of support during COVID

1.3 Climate change is one of the greatest and most pressing threats… the right policy will put the sector on the road to net zero

1.4 Decarbonising aviation is a huge opportunity for the UK to build a new industry: low and zero emission aircraft, SAF industry, cleaner and quieter airports aircraft and airspace

1.5 Great strides already made: Jet Zero Council, funding for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and Zero Emissions Flight (ZEF), a ten-point plan, R&D investment to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), a new UK Emissions Trading Scheme, implementing a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), adding international aviation and shipping to UK carbon budget

1.6 The Jet Zero Strategy will set out ambitious framework to support aviation to decarbonise to net zero by 2050 across 5 areas: efficiency, SAF deployment, develop Zero Emission Aircraft (ZEA), using market forces to drive down emissions, and influencing behaviour

1.7 Take a leading role in ICAO drawing on COP26 Presidency, to reduce emissions from international aviation

1.8 Focusing on reducing CO2 emissions can provide other environmental benefits: reducing non-CO2 emissions and noise, improving air quality

1.9 All views welcome in realising ambitions and showcasing UK’s leading role in tackling this once-in-a-generation issue

LADACAN comments on the above:

The influence of the aviation lobby seems clear in the above: the emphasis is on the economy, jobs and trade for this “once-in-a-generation issue”. This seems to miss the point that potential climate change devastation which the IPCC has recently highlighted is a once-in-a-civilisation crisis which if not solved will certainly have far more profound impacts on the economy, jobs and trade than would reducing the amount of flying which well-off people currently, and in a disproportionate way, undertake.

Of the 5 measures proposed:
1) Operational efficiencies significantly depend on Airspace Modernisation which has been talked about for decades but still not delivered so its benefits are still not quantifiable
2) Dependence on Sustainable Aviation Fuels is controversial – firstly in terms of whether they are indeed genuinely sustainable, secondly whether the use of biomass for SAF would disadvantage other key areas such as animal feeds, thirdly whether the higher price would be afforded
3) Given the huge investment needed and the timeframe from drawing board to production, Zero Emission Aircraft appear to be pie-in-the-sky
4) Market forces could be used to drive down emissions, but only if they are genuinely driven down rather than simply displaced to benefit the few
5) If the government was genuinely committed to influencing behaviour so as to reduce flying in favour of less travel or more sustainable routes, it would have said so in the introduction

Next page: Approach