Various stories on the Committee on Climate Change report on aviation
targets, says the UK government’s official climate watchdog.
to allow aviation some room to grow.
60%, not 200% as projected by the government.
Change Act to steer government policy.
being debated in Copenhagen, Denmark over the next two weeks.
expansion of aviation. High-speed rail would also allow people greater mobility
as they get richer.
trading scheme and the price of permits rises to a projected £200 per tonne by
2050. But it warns even this would not be enough to curb our desire to fly, so
other measures will be needed.
ideas like levying extra taxes and issuing flying allowances.
flying, whilst allowances would be administratively difficult and may smack of
social control. Other regulations may be necessary, the committee believes.
under-capacity in others.
have to decide where that growth should happen.
white paper of 2003 envisaged growth in passenger movements from two million a
year currently to six million a year with rising income.
It now expects the government to factor these figures into its national aviation
policy statement due next year.
four times a year. The question will be whether they can be allowed to fly still
needed to curb Britain’s insatiable appetite for air travel, a
runways at Stansted and Edinburgh and permit an extra 140 million journeys a year
by 2050 without breaking the UK’s commitment to cutting carbon dioxide emissions,
according to the Committee on Climate Change.
at a cost of choking off expansion at other airports including Gatwick, Birmingham,
Newcastle and Bristol.
the government on how to meet its legally binding targets – warns that the British
flying boom, stoked by the emergence of Ryanair and easyJet, is unsustainable.
increase by 200% in the next 40 years, but that cannot be tolerated because carbon
dioxide emitted by carriers in 2050 must not exceed 2005 levels.
executive. “Don’t be deceived by the fact that demand can grow. It will have to
grow by much less than if we didn’t care about carbon dioxide.”
on passengers; limits on runway expansion; and restrictions on flights at existing
airports. Passenger growth will have to be limited to 60% over the next four decades,
compared with an increase of 130% since 1990, allowing the UK a maximum of around
370 million air travellers by 2050, from 230 million currently.
forecasts that unchecked airline growth would shatter emissions targets, increasing
passenger numbers by 200% to 695 million per year.
said: “The price has to cut back some of the growth, so you do have to have rising
by making the theoretical case for a third runway. According to government forecasts
an expanded Heathrow could handle a further 68 million passengers a year by 2030
â€” more than double current demand of 67 million a year â€” and still fit easily
within the committee’s growth projections. “You can see how you can do the maths
and have a third runway at Heathrow and be within the 60% limit,” said Kennedy.
the maximum permitted number of flights soon after 2030. According to DfT forecasts,
adding new runways at Heathrow, Stansted and Edinburgh will be the equivalent
of an extra 131.2 million journeys per year by 2030. Not only would that leave
no room for new runways at Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and
Bristol, but it would bar those airports from increasing passenger numbers beyond
creation of a high-speed rail network, and more use of video-conferencing to cut
business travel, the committee warns that more action such as constraining airport
use might be needed in order to stop the population from flying. The report singles
out a “carbon tax” as one of the solutions, which would be levied on top of the
£200 per tonne carbon price.
on top of the forecast carbon price, limits on further airport expansion, and
restrictions on the allocation of takeoff and landing slots even where airports
have the theoretical capacity available,” the report says.
emissions to 2005 levels – or 37.5m tonnes of CO2 a year – because aircraft manufacturers and airlines will improve the fuel efficiency
of their fleets by 0.8% a year. Including limited use of biofuels, that will slash
carbon dioxide emissions per passenger by 35%.
increase in the amount of seats sold per flight, the number of flights in and
out of the UK can increase from 2.2m a year to 3.4m.
other industries will have made tougher emissions cuts.
laid out in the 2003 aviation white paper. “Ministers have been influenced by
misleading greenwash from the aviation industry for far too long – this report
is a reality check which should put the nail in the coffin for government plans
to allow a huge expansion in air travel,” said Richard Dyer of Friends of the
by 2030 – a number that is now inconceivable under the committee’s projections.
It said the government could rewrite its airport policy – and choose which airports
expand at the expense of others – in a national policy statement that is now required
under the 2008 Planning Act. The act creates an infrastructure planning commission
that will refer to policy statements when it considers planning applications for
infrastructure projects such as airports.
of Britons who have benefited from a regional airport boom which gave cheap access
to the beaches and cities of Europe from an airport a few miles down the road.
accepted by ministers, then the majority of the UK’s remaining airports could
find themselves at a standstill while the likes of Heathrow take much of the allowed
growth. Under that scenario, prices will rise inexorably as demand for a weekend
break to Nice far outstrips supply.
to Alicante in Spain â€” 50,000 passengers last year at £100 per return ticket.
forced up if the likes of Bristol International, which handled 6 million people
a year and is aiming for 10 million by 2020, are barred from growing. “If you
follow the recommendations of the committee that might be the result.”
regional airports on the one hand, and long-haul carriers such as British Airways
and international hubs such as Heathrow on the other.
should have the toughest curbs because their business plans are predicated on
transfer flights, which involve passengers flying into the airport on a regional
service. “Why shouldn’t the government manage that growth in an environmentally
you have to take two flights instead of one,” said the easyJet spokesman.
Sustainable Aviation group, who include two of Heathrow’s biggest carriers – British
Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
airports deserve to grow, saying that limiting emissions through technological
improvements was the answer, not cutting people’s right to travel.
Union emissions trading scheme in 2012. The scheme alone is likely to force up
fares because airlines will have to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions, but
the committee says that is not enough.
Stansted and Edinburgh.
Heathrow â€” including the construction of a third runway â€” can proceed without
jeopardising the Government’s carbon emissions targets.
in 2050, an increase of 60 per cent, without breaching government targets to reduce
aviation emissions to below 2005 levels.
of more fuel-efficient aircraft and a high-speed rail network. It also assumes
that the cost of flying will rise. The analysis will stun environmentalists and
local activists fighting against expansion at Heathrow. They had expected the
Whitehall advisers to make their case unequivocally.
Copenhagen towards aviation â€” one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse
people by 2030, according to government data. If it is allowed, as ministers and
the owners of Heathrow demand, some regional airports would be able to grow but
others would have to curb their expansion plans.
60 per cent limit," said David Kennedy, the committee’s chief executive. "You
could have a world where you have an extra runway at Heathrow, where you use it
and where you are within that 60 per cent demand growth rate. So they are not
inconsistent with each other."
fuel-efficient aircraft, the report says. It predicts that a high-speed rail network,
which is supported by all the main political parties, would attract 90 per cent
of demand for travel between Scotland and the South. It adds that video-conferencing
could also reduce the volume of business travel.
target. It says that, left unrestricted, demand would more than double to 695
million passengers a year. Higher taxes and expensive carbon trading permits might
be needed to rein in demand, all of which will increase the cost of flying.
advice is consistent with the development of a third runway at Heathrow, which
is Britain’s only hub airport and is already running at full capacity," he said.
"A third runway, even when fully utilised, would only account for about 10 per
cent more UK flights than we have now."
and not fit for purpose".
plans to expand Heathrow.
assumption that demand growth between now and 2050 cannot exceed 60% if the UK
is to meet the Government’s target that aviation emissions in 2050 must not exceed
2005 levels. However, the report says growth may need to be less than 60%, to
take account of non-CO2 effects of aviation emissions, and the uncertainties about
biofuels in future. Even with the anticipated carbon price, modal shift and increased
use of video-conferencing in business, it is unlikely that demand growth will
be constrained to 60%.