The UK aviation industry has pledged to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 – despite still planning for 70% more flights over the next three decades. [“Net” carbon emissions is a disingenuous term, intended to confuse. It means the CO2 emissions from aviation will continue to rise. The industry wants as much growth as it can get. There are preposterous claims about finding new low-carbon fuels, which cannot be done at scale without causing other environmental problems. The industry can find ways of cutting a small % of their emissions by efficiencies of various sorts. But “net” largely means the hope that the carbon can be magically cancelled out, by “offsets”. All that means is some other sector emits less carbon, or somehow sucks carbon out of the air, and instead of that being just what the planet needs – less carbon in the atmosphere – that cut is negated and cancelled out by the growth in carbon from aviation. It is greenwash. People should not be hoodwinked by this stuff. AW comment]
Members of the Sustainable Aviation coalition, which includes most major airlines and airports, as well as aerospace manufacturers, will sign a commitment to reach net zero by mid-century. More than a third of the proposed net reduction will be achieved through offsetting. [Much more than a third, in practice, as they cannot get genuinely lower carbon fuels at anything like the scale they hope for. They cannot be produced without environmental damage. It would be absolutely catastrophic if palm oil was allowed to be used as jet fuel. AW comment]
A “decarbonisation road map” will be published outlining how aviation can cut its carbon footprint – replacing a previous road map that only committed the industry to halving emissions over the next three decades.
The plan sets out potential reductions coming from smarter flight operations, and new aircraft and engine technology – including some yet to be invented. Modernising airspace and developing sustainable aviation fuelswill also contribute to reducing pollution.
About 25.8 million tonnes of CO2, out of 71.1 million tonnes set to be created annually by the UK sector, will need to be addressed through what Sustainable Aviation calls “market-based measures”, or offsetting.
The coalition forecasts that sustainable jet fuels, which are yet to be employed commercially, could meet almost a third of UK’s aviation fuel demand by 2050. [Obviously nonsense. See tweet below. Aspirations for the % of jet fuel that would be used in various years. Like in 2009 the hope by IATA was 10% of jet fuel in 2025 would be low carbon. This year the target is 2% by 2025. In reality, in 2018 just 0.002% of global jet fuel was low carbon. AW comment ]