UK airline industry calls on government to spur sector to net-zero

(The Guardian, 21 Oct 2019) The industry body for UK airlines believes that a renewed partnership with the government can help the sector achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as long as investment opportunities into green technologies are created. EURACTIV’s media partner reports.

Airlines UK has called for greater interaction between government and the industry, noting that substantial investment from the latter would push the sector towards net-zero in the same timeframe as the Government’s legislated target of 2050.

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said: “Through a renewed partnership between Government and industry, the UK is uniquely placed to capitalise on the opportunities of green aviation technology, whether that’s more efficient engines or hybrid-electric aircraft. However, these remain some years off which is why support for sustainable aviation fuels and airspace modernisation in the here and now remains so vital.

Airlines UK members, which include British Airways, EasyJet, TUI and Virgin Atlantic, have already funnelled billions into new aircraft that are up to 25% more carbon-efficient than traditional models.

The industry body is calling on its members to work with Government to create transitions that enable the uptake of certain low-carbon technologies.

British Airways’ (BA) parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) became the first airline group to commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 last week. The commitment included a $400m (£332m) funding pool for sustainable aviation fuels that will be deployed over the next 20 years.

Airlines UK believes that sustainable aviation fuels can cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2050 and has called on the Government to provide financial support to upscale and reduce the costs of commercialisation. Satellite-based navigation and direct routes can cut carbon emissions by 9% to 14%, the body added.

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The Guardian, 21 Oct 2019: UK airline industry calls on government to spur sector to net-zero