Jet Zero : overall strategy

This is the DfT’s proposed strategy for achieving net zero for aviation:

The strategy will provide a clear ‘Jet Zero’ goal for the sector whilst allowing the different technological pathways to develop. It will ensure the UK is at the vanguard of progress on reducing aviation emissions and continues to drive international progress. And it will put partnerships at the heart of delivery – partnerships with industry, academia, NGOs and the public.

While aviation contributes only 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions today, it is forecast to become the second highest residual emitter in 2050 as other sectors reduce their emissions. Despite aviation being one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise, we are clear that it will play its part in ensuring the UK reaches net zero.

The strategy will deliver the requirement to decarbonise aviation, and the benefits of doing so, whilst allowing the sector to thrive, and hardworking families to continue to enjoy their annual holiday abroad; we want Britons to continue to have access to affordable flights, allowing them to enjoy holidays, visit friends and family overseas and to travel for business.

Decarbonising, whilst retaining the connectivity we cherish and preserving our aviation sector means we must act quickly to revolutionise the technologies needed across the aviation industry: develop cleaner aircraft, produce and use more sustainable fuels, and make our airspace and airports more efficient.

This is your opportunity to help shape our strategy and give your perspective on how we decarbonise the aviation sector whilst continuing to benefit from the connectivity, jobs and economic benefits it provides.

LADACAN comments on the DfT strategy outline:

The strategy acknowledges that aviation is going to be a difficult sector to decarbonise – hence it being the second highest residual emitter in 2050.

The government appears to have decided that it wants the aviation sector to continue to thrive, and that people can continue flying as before, since no mention is made in the outline of any measures to manage demand. Instead, the aspiration is that a rapid technological revolution will occur to make aviation sustainable without fundamentally constraining it.

This appears to be a hopeful aspiration indeed given the short timeframe of less than 30 years until 2050, the uncertainty over new technologies such as electric flight on any scale, and doubts over whether proposals to deal with the residual emissions are even workable on the scale required.

Furthermore, a “consultation” on strategy where the strategy has already been decided, and all that’s being discussed are technical options, does not really meet the criteria of genuine consultation.

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