High Court refuses application for JR of government programme to build more roads

Campaigners have lost a legal challenge to the government’s £27bn roadbuilding programme after the high court judge, Mr Justice Holgate, dismissed their application for a judicial review. Lawyers for Transport Action Network (TAN) argued that the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, had drawn up the roads investment strategy for England, known as RIS2, without taking into account the UK’s climate commitments or assessing the additional carbon emissions and climate impact of another 4,000 miles of road. Bizarrely, the judge considered the road building plans were not irrational, in bad faith or manifestly absurd. He accepted the assurances of the DfT that the road building policy was consistent with the UK’s net zero target for 2050. And that a lot was being done to decarbonise road transport, but he added:  “Whether they are enough is not a matter for the court.” The campaigners, TAN, are appealing against the judgement.  The case could be an important precedent, relevant to aviation.  Prof Jillian Anable of Leeds University’s institute for transport studies said the DfT’s road building plans, and disregard for the the climate implications, “can only be interpreted as either blatant dishonesty or failure to understand the science.”

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Activists lose legal bid to stop £27bn roads plan for England

Climate campaigners appeal against judgment saying ministers are being ‘let off the hook’

By @GwynTopham  (Transport, at the Guardian)

Campaigners have lost a legal challenge to the government’s £27bn roadbuilding programme after the high court dismissed their application for a judicial review.

Lawyers for Transport Action Network (TAN) argued that the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, had drawn up the roads investment strategy for England, known as RIS2, without taking into account the UK’s environmental commitments or assessing the additional carbon emissions and climate impact of another 4,000 miles of road.

However, the judge, Mr Justice Holgate, said Shapps had received a “briefing, albeit laconic” from officials saying the policy was consistent with net zero targets, based on a comprehensive programme of analysis, and that Shapps did not need to know the actual numbers.

He said claimants had “a heavy evidential onus to establish that a decision was irrational, absent bad faith or manifest absurdity” and noted that the government was “taking a range of steps to tackle the need for urgency in addressing carbon production in the transport sector”, adding: “Whether they are enough is not a matter for the court.”

TAN argued Shapps was legally required to consider the effect on the environment and there was a clear inconsistency in increasing traffic during the worsening climate emergency.

The campaigners’ lawyers have appealed against the judgment and are crowdfunding for further legal costs.

A separate legal challenge to the national policy statement that underpins roadbuilding remains live, despite indications from government sources that it would settle the case after agreeing it needed to be reviewed when it published its transport decarbonisation plan. However, Shapps has since said the Department for Transport will not complete the review before 2023 and the policy will remain effective to support roadbuilding until then.

TAN said it was shocked by the ruling. Its director, Chris Todd, said: “In a month of unprecedented fires and floods, the effect of this judgment is to prioritise the ‘stability and certainty’ of the roads over that of our climate. This will surely send shivers down the spine of anyone hoping for urgent action … As the quickening pace of global heating threatens the rule of law, we need legislation upheld rather than ministers let off the hook.”

Prof Jillian Anable of Leeds University’s institute for transport studies, who acted as an expert witness for TAN, said the government’s “decision to continue to increase the pace of roadbuilding in a decade when the vast majority of vehicles on the road will still be petrol and diesel, and all modelling shows that we need to cut traffic in order to work within that carbon budget, can only be interpreted as either blatant dishonesty or failure to understand the science.”

 

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See earlier:

Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question due to climate targets

The legality of the government’s second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) is to be determined by the High Court.  Campaigners from Transport Action Network (TAN) say transport secretary Grant Shapps broke the law when approving the £27.4bn road strategy, by failing to consider its effects on the environment.  The RIS2 is for road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and includes the Lower Thames Crossing and the Stonehenge Tunnel. The challenge by TAN says there was a failure to take into account the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. Also that the government “failed to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessment of RIS2”.  The TAN claim uses the precedent of the legal challenge of the Airports National Policy Statement. The DfT is arguing that the road building should go ahead, using the precedent of the failure of the challenge by Chris Packham against HS2.  TAN say: “If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency, improving quality of life after the pandemic and delivering a less congested future, we need to reduce traffic.”  If TAN succeeds, blocking road building, it could set an important precedent, not only for the UK, but globally, (airports, not only roads) in the run up to COP26 in November. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2021/06/legality-of-27bn-roads-building-programme-in-question-due-to-climate-targets/


See earlier, in 2020:

DfT ‘refuses to back down’ over £27bn roads legal challenge over carbon emissions

In April the Transport Action Network (TAN) revealed its intentions to launch a legal application to the High Court, as the DfT ignored environmental legislation in approving the five-year funding plan.  Now the DfT have given TAN’s lawyers its official response. It has “refused to back down”.  The legal challenge by TAN was made, as a result of the judgement by the Appeal Court in February, on the Heathrow case. It ruled that the Airports National Policy Statement  (ANPS) was illegal, as proper consideration had not been given to carbon emissions and the UK’s obligations under the Paris Agreement. The DfT letter claims, rather improbably, that decarbonisation will be addressed ‘at a society-wide level’ and its largest ever roads plan in fact ‘is a fully-integrated part of this wider effort to reach net zero emissions’. The legal challenge, by the same lawyers who won the Heathrow case, will proceed with the case on road building. As the courts found the ANPS was illegal, any other NPS will have to take carbon properly into account. Heathrow is appealing to the Supreme court on the February ruling, with a hearing on the 9th and 10th October. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2020/05/dft-refuses-to-back-down-over-27bn-roads-challenge-over-carbon-emissions/

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The future of Eurostar: How can we save our green link to Europe?

The Eurostar is one of the best ways that people in Britain can get to Europe, (as well as the ferry) avoiding flying.  But it has really struggled during the pandemic. Eurostar had to refinance twice;  March 2021 it borrowed £400 million and received a cash injection of £170 million from its owners; and again in May 2021 another £250 million. The company had to reduce from 20 trains to Paris per day to 1 train a day for most of lockdown. Since getting the new finance deal in place in May it increased to 3 trains per day and hoped to have a good summer to try and recoup some of its losses. It is uncertain if it will increase to more than three trains per day, and talks are taking place between the company and the recognised trade unions regarding what happens when furlough ends on 30 September.  It does not look good, in the run up to the COP26 talks in November, for the UK not to be helping this lower form of transport to and from Europe. The 3 rails unions, TSSA, RMT and Aslef are adamant that Eurostar must be given necessary assistance. Zoom meeting open to the public on 4th August.
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The future of Eurostar: How can we save our green link to Europe?

By Manuel Cortes (General Secretary, TSSA union)

26.7.2021

It’ll come as a surprise to no one that Covid is still causing problems for holiday-makers. The myriad of issues – whether it is the constant flicker from green to amber and back again for the countries considered safe to travel to without isolating; the so-called ‘pingdemic’ which is not a problem of the Covid track and trace app, more a problem of the high number of cases; or just the uncertainty around booking due to holiday cancellations.

All this has meant the summer recovery has been elusive.

Eurostar has had to refinance twice now, in March 2021 it borrowed £400mil and received a cash injection of £170million from its owners; and again in May 2021 to the tune of £250m. The company was one of the first to stop running its services and has had to reduce from 20 trains to Paris a day to 1 train a day for most of lockdown. Since getting the new finance deal in place in May it ramped up to 3 trains a day and hoped to have a good summer to try and recoup some of its losses. 

We always thought this was a bit ambitious, but we heard that Eurostar has now frozen its plans to ramp up the services beyond the 3 trains a day and talks are taking place between the company and the recognised trade unions regarding what happens when furlough ends on 30 September.

Despite 70% of Eurostar staff being based in Britain, so far the Tory government have been hiding behind the French state ownership and refusing to commit any support to the company or the staff. 

We know that the government have bailed out airlines as a result of Covid, but have been shy about helping the only green link to the European mainland, a service which takes 60,000 planes out of the sky and saves 580,000 tonnes of CO2 per year polluting the atmosphere. And all this in the run-up to the climate negotiations taking place under Britain’s Presidency of the COP26 held in Glasgow in November. 

Johnson has been espousing his green credentials to the world but is prepared to let Eurostar fail, the consequences of which could be catastrophic to our emissions targets and green economy.

We can’t stand by and allow this to happen. All three of the rail unions have united together under the same banner to call for Shapps, the Transport Secretary to take charge of the situation and give our Eurostar workers some reassurance that their jobs and skills are valued. We are linking up with Friends of the Earth to make the case plainly – support Eurostar now or suffer the climate consequences.

Manuel Cortes is the General Secretary of TSSA union, he will be speaking alongside Mick Lynch (RMT GS) and Mick Whelan (Aslef GS) as well as Eurostar staff rep Sonja Van Wingerden and Friends of the Earth transport campaigner Jenny Bates. 

To attend the online meeting on Wednesday 4 August, 18:30 register here https://bit.ly/Eurostar4August

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The future of Eurostar: How can we save our green link to Europe?

18:30PM – 20:00PM, 4 August 2021

Online with Zoom Get Directions

https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/Your-union/education/going-beyond/skills-reps-cop/index.cfm

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See earlier:

Eurostar says it’s been saved by French railways and other investors

The company will start ramping up daily trains between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam later this month.

BY JOSHUA POSANER  (Politico EU)
May 18, 2021

Cross-Channel railway Eurostar says it is no longer at risk of collapse after its shareholders, including its French majority owner SNCF, agreed to back a refinancing deal with banks worth £250 million.

“This refinancing package secures Eurostar’s future as restrictions ease and travel begins to gradually resume,” said Eurostar in an emailed statement today.

In January, the company warned it was running out of cash due to the pandemic’s impact on travel and tourism. Eurostar had called for state support to get it through the crisis but authorities in the U.K. had been cautious about committing to any kind of bailout.

Instead, France’s state railways SNCF and other investors, including funds overseen by Belgium’s state train operator SNCB, have stepped in to pump £50 million in new equity into the company along with £150 million in shareholder guaranteed loans. Banks have agreed to restructure a further £50 million in loans, the company said.

Eurostar said it will start ramping up daily trains between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam later this month. From May 27, Eurostar will start running two daily return services between the British and French capitals, with up to three per day from the end of June.

The company does not give a timeline for expanding its single daily return journey between London and Brussels.

Eurostar also said it’s also pushing ahead with its planned merger with Thalys, an international railway running links between Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The merger plan is dubbed Green Speed and was first announced in 2019.

https://www.politico.eu/article/eurostar-finances-saved-french-railways/

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SAF competing for fuel feedstocks will have negative impacts on many other sectors

The aviation industry, and its enthusiastic backers like the UK government, are keen to claim the problem of the sector’s vast carbon emissions can be solved, fairly soon, by SAF (“sustainable aviation fuels”). They agree these should not come directly from agricultural crops, competing with human food and animal fodder for land. They will instead come (as well as fuels produced using electricity) from agricultural, forestry and domestic wastes. These would be the feedstocks.  But there are significant problems, so far apparently overlooked by governments etc, about competing uses for those feedstocks. There are already markets for used cooking oil, and it can all be used for animal food, or in other industries. Taking crop wastes off the land not only means lower organic matter returned to the soil, reducing its structure and fertility, but also its removal for other uses – such as for animal bedding. There are competing uses for forestry waste, such as the paper and pulp industry.  Feedstocks could be used to make diesel for road vehicles, or burned to produce electricity. So if aviation wants these feedstocks, there will be competition and higher prices for other sectors. These problems should not be ignored in the mindlessly optimistic rush for the illusion of “jet zero”.
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ICCT WORKING PAPER 2021-13 |

ESTIMATING SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL FEEDSTOCK AVAILABILITY

Authors: Jane O’Malley, Nikita Pavlenko, Stephanie Searle   (ICCT_

March 2021

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON CLEAN TRANSPORTATION

Summary

If the European Union aviation industry is to meet its long-term goal of decarbonization
without curbing traffic growth or relying on out-of-sector carbon offsets, switching
to sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) is one of the few methods of achieving in-sector
greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

Though previous, transport-wide EU fuel policies have done little to stimulate the development of the SAF industry, the recently proposed ReFuel EU initiative could set a clear policy signal for the introduction and expansion of an advanced-only SAF industry producing ultra-low carbon fuels.

However, it is critical that policymakers set realistic SAF deployment goals that match the amount of fuel that could be made from available feedstock.

This study evaluates the EU resource base to support SAF production from 2025 to 2035, focusing only on the potential volumes available from sustainably available feedstocks.

Without taking into account the political or economic barriers to SAF production, we
estimate that there is a sufficient resource base to support approximately 3.4 million
tonnes (Mt) of advanced SAF production annually, or 5.5% of projected EU jet fuel
demand in 2030.

The estimated production potential takes into account feedstock availability, sustainable harvesting limits, existing other uses of those materials, and SAF conversion yields.

This assessment does not factor in the economic incentives necessary
to drive that level of market demand or to mobilize investment in new biorefineries.-
The commercialization of SAF depends on many factors beyond the resource base for
SAF production. Currently, even with some incentives and targeted support in place,
SAF production covers less than 0.05% of global jet fuel demand.

While producing SAF from waste oils is the most technically mature SAF conversion pathway, waste oils are highly resource-constrained and are already largely consumed by the road sector.

High near-term targets for SAF blending may only incentivize the diversion of waste oils from
existing uses in the road sector, approaching approximately 2% of 2030 jet fuel demand
from waste oil alone.

Moving beyond 2% of SAF deployment will require targeted support for more conversion pathways with more challenging economics and uncertain production timelines.

To achieve long-term success for the advanced SAF industry, the ReFuel EU initiative must first lay the groundwork for these pathways through targeted incentives for individual projects before laying out a sector-wide blending target.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Dan Rutherford of the ICCT, Karlijn Arts of SkyNRG, and Laura Buffet of Transport & Environment for helpful reviews.

© 2021 INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON CLEAN TRANSPORTATION
www.theicct.org
communications@theicct.org
twitter @theicct

 

This also says:

As with food-based biofuels, interactions with existing markets for some SAF feedstocks may lead to indirect emissions that change our understanding of their GHG savings. Feedstocks are rarely pure wastes that are disposed of in the absence of biofuel demand. In most cases, they contain market and ecological value. For example, residues from crops such as wheat are already productively used for livestock fodder and bedding, as well as in other uses such as mushroom production and horticulture (Searle & Malins, 2016). If all wheat straw were instead diverted to biofuels production, the other uses would lack raw materials and require an increase in production of substitutable materials. Understanding a feedstock’s displacement effects is critical for ensuring GHG savings as well as determining quantities that can be diverted to biofuels production without reducing its availability for use in other applications.

and

We estimate feedstock availability in 2030 based on previous ICCT analyses assessing physical production of feedstocks and taking into account limits on maximum collection rates including harvesting capability, in situ ecological value, and usage as raw materials in other markets. We also note that diverting available feedstock toward fuel for the aviation sector would reduce its availability for competing uses in other transportation applications such as on-road diesel fuel. While waste fats are easier to process into “drop-in” fuels — or direct substitutes — lignocellulosic feedstocks are more abundant and could theoretically provide greater quantities of SAF. Previous research on lignocellulosic waste and residue availability in the European Union by Searle and Malins (2016) groups sustainable feedstocks into three categories: agricultural residues, forestry residues, and municipal and industrial waste. We supplement those findings by evaluating the potential from three additional potential SAF feedstocks including cover crops, industrial flue gases, and electrofuels produced using renewable electricity, CO2, and water.

And much more. See the whole paper at

https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/Sustainable-aviation-fuel-feedstock-eu-mar2021.pdf

 

March 2021

ICCT WORKING PAPER 2021-13 | ESTIMATING SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL FEEDSTOCK AVAILABILITY

https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/Sustainable-aviation-fuel-feedstock-eu-mar2021.pdf

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Is growth of sustainable aviation fuel in the market set to soar?

Fast Markets

16.7.2021

A focus on biofuels
Governments are acknowledging the increasingly obvious gap around aviation in the response to transportation decarbonization. They have stepped up plans to promote the use of biofuels across the sector. Many consider increasingly stringent mandates and are poised to demand sustainable fuels play a greater part in the landscape.

But a lot is asked of any aviation fuel. Average engines on the newest fleets of airlines will deliver up to 90,000 lbs of thrust per engine. They must operate reliably in the harsh, cold environment at 40,000 feet.

The sector has had some successes, with sustainable fuels used in a limited number of passenger and freight routes recently. But, to drive economies of scale, the hunt is now on to unlock production on an industrial scale.

And that’s the key to allowing advanced biofuels to play in this space.

The path ahead
Clear mandates set out a flight path for the fuel’s adoption and use. Increasingly, the sector is leading the decarbonization debate. This is while innovators turn to new technologies or reliable older chemical processes to boost production and scale up promising demonstration concepts.

That is pulling in an ever-wider slate of feedstock, from algae to household waste, from corn through to forestry. Aviation’s thirst is set to bring fresh disruption to existing commodities. It will challenge the use of used cooking oils in biodiesel production, adding another dimension to the pulp and paper industry or even disrupting the role of corn within ethanol and animal feed use.

The ambition is large, and it needs to be. Even against the backdrop of pandemic, the United States alone burned nearly 10.3 billion gallons (350 million tonnes) of jet fuel in 2020. It is already showing signs of powering back toward pre-pandemic levels of up to 18 billion gallons in 2021.

At a basic 5% flat blend mandate, that will generate demand for 17.5 million tonnes of jet fuel on Covid-based data versus current production levels that amount to around 100,000 tonnes equating to around 0.05% of total European Union jet fuel consumption.

The EU is looking to deliver a mandate of 63% sustainable fuel by 2050.

https://www.fastmarkets.com/article/3998518/is-growth-of-sustainable-aviation-fuel-in-the-market-set-to-soar

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See earlier:

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “sustainable aviation fuels” (spoiler…crazy over-optimism)

The DfT’s consultation on reducing aviation carbon emissions, “Jet Zero” places a lot of faith in finding novel, low carbon fuels, so people can continue to fly as much as they want. These are called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF). The consultation says SAF “could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.” The economic opportunity aspect, and producing jobs, is key for the DfT.  They say “Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for long-haul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact.” The DfT is hoping SAF could “result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” SAF would either be biogenic, non-biogenic (from wastes) or made using zero-carbon electricity.  There are huge problems, glossed over by the consultation. A key problem is that “there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF.” The DfT “will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake.”

Click here to view full story…

 

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Chris Stark (CCC) on how aviation needs to cut its emissions, only using CCS – which it must pay for – as a last resort

The Head of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), Chris Stark, has given evidence to the Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) on the aspirations of the aviation sector to get to “net zero” by 2050, and the government’s “jet zero” plan. He said aviation, unlike other transport sectors, was unlikely to meet targets for net zero by 2050.  The sector should pay for costly engineered carbon removal technologies (CCS) rather than rely on using the planting of trees to claim they are reducing CO2 emissions.  And these offsets and removal technologies should only be used as a last resort, after direct cuts of carbon and emissions by the industry itself. He said carbon removal technologies are not a “free pass” for the industry. Removals are expensive, and the sector should pay for them themselves – which would put up ticket prices. It was regrettable that the DfT’s transport decarbonisation plan had not mentioned the necessity of reducing air travel demand. There is a danger that the tech does not deliver. The plans need to be assessed every 5 years, and though that is a difficult choice for government, demand management may have to be considered in future.
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Airlines need to do more than plant trees to hit net zero, MPs told

Climate Change Committee head says firms must invest in ‘scaleable’ offsets such as carbon capture

By Sandra Laville (The Guardian)
Thu 22 Jul 2021

Chris Start was a witness, presenting evidence to the inquiry by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, on net zero plans for aviation and shipping, on 21st July. The session can be seen here 

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/6cdbb7bc-6b41-4f80-8846-0d6558f805f1

Chris is speaking, relevant to aviation, from around 14.55 to 15.29 – well worth watching.

The aviation industry must pay for costly carbon removal technologies [CCS – carbon capture and storage] rather than rely on using the planting of trees to claim they are reducing emissions, the head of the Climate Change Committee has said.

Chris Stark said aviation, unlike other transport sectors, was unlikely to meet targets for net zero by 2050. He said instead the industry had to use “scaleable” offsets that matched ongoing emissions into future decades, but that these should be used as a last resort after directly cutting emissions.

“We are not just talking about planting trees … I would prefer to see engineered removals matched with those residual aviation emissions,” Stark told MPs on the environmental audit committee.

The processes Stark wanted to see aviation engaging in included investing in growing bioenergy crops to create alternatives to fossil fuel and techniques to capture and store carbon. He said carbon capture was a very expensive process but resulted in genuine negative emissions.

“It is something the aviation sector itself should pay for and therefore will increase the cost of aviation if those offsets have to be managed and paid for,” said Stark. “These are not free passes for getting to net zero … We think that aviation should incur these costs directly and indeed that their commercial interests in those negative emissions will grow if there is a way to bring down the costs of those key technologies overall.”

The government’s “jet zero” policy claims it will deliver net zero aviation within a generation. But Stark said it was heavily reliant on technology to deliver this and the Climate Change Committee believed that the sector would not reach net zero by mid-century. Instead it needed to pay for genuine processes to mop up emissions.

He said the reliance on technology and the lack of any focus on reducing demand for aviation was something that would please the industry. “But obviously a big risk is that the technology doesn’t deliver. It is notable that demand management doesn’t get a look in.”

The jet zero plan, which is out for consultation, is being driven by a council made up of government ministers and leading figures from the aviation industry. The government claims it can cut emissions to zero without affecting the scale of passenger travel.

The consultation document says: “It is a strategy that will deliver the requirement to decarbonise aviation, and the benefits of doing so, whilst allowing the sector to thrive, and hard-working 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.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/22/airlines-need-to-do-more-than-plant-trees-to-hit-net-zero-mps-told


EAC call for evidence

Net zero aviation and shipping

https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/542/


Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “sustainable aviation fuels” (spoiler…crazy over-optimism)

The DfT’s consultation on reducing aviation carbon emissions, “Jet Zero” places a lot of faith in finding novel, low carbon fuels, so people can continue to fly as much as they want. These are called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF). The consultation says SAF “could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.” The economic opportunity aspect, and producing jobs, is key for the DfT.  They say “Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for long-haul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact.” The DfT is hoping SAF could “result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” SAF would either be biogenic, non-biogenic (from wastes) or made using zero-carbon electricity.  There are huge problems, glossed over by the consultation. A key problem is that “there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF.” The DfT “will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake.”

Click here to view full story…

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “Influencing Consumers” – keep flying, depend on techno-optimism

The DfT has launched its consultation, called “Jet Zero” on how the UK might decarbonise flights, by 2050. One really effective way to do that would be to reduce the demand for air travel, which is what the Climate Change Committee  (CCC) recommended. The CCC said (24th June) “Lack of ambition for aviation demand management would result in higher emissions of 6.4 MtCO2e/year in 2030 relative to the CCC pathway for aviation emissions.” But the Jet Zero consultation just says “We want to preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable travel choices.” And “This Government is committed to tackling the CO2 emissions from flights, whilst preserving the ability for people to fly.” And “we currently believe the sector can achieve Jet Zero without the Government needing to intervene directly to limit aviation growth” and cut aviation CO2 by as much as the CCC says is needed, but by other means – SAF, hydrogen, electric planes etc. It then says it will “seek to address residual carbon emissions through robust, verifiable offsets and additional greenhouse gas removals.” And it acknowledges that these are all “currently at a relatively early stage of development and [their deployment] requires collaboration and commitment across all parts of the sector if it is to succeed.” It also considers carbon information for flights, but only so people can still fly, but choose different airline options.

Click here to view full story…

DfT Decarbonising Transport plan – various consultations to come on aviation carbon

The DfT has produced its transport decarbonisation plan. There is a lot of aspiration for aviation, depending on future increased use of “sustainable aviation fuels”, hydrogen and electric planes – as well as carbon capture and storage. ie. dependence on technologies that do not yet exist on any scale, and which would take years/decades to develop. The aspirations for aviation are for “net zero” (ie. allowing offsets) for the sector by 2050, and net zero for domestic aviation by 2040. [Also plans for zero carbon airports, but they contribute only a tiny amount of total aviation carbon].  So lots of hopes. Nothing specific.  And absolutely no mention of the need to reduce demand for air travel, as their climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee, had recommended. The DfT consultation on the Jet Zero strategy – for aviation net zero by 2050 – has now been published, and runs till the 8th September. Also there will be consultations on making domestic aviation net zero; airport carbon; and on a UK sustainable aviation fuels mandate.  The DfT is supporting the development of new aircraft technology through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), and hopes to further develop the UK ETS.

Click here to view full story…

Government is keen to tell people they can continue to fly, with a clear conscience – and the aviation sector can continue with “business as usual” for the time being.

Click here to view full story…

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Start of Inquiry into refusal by North Somerset Council of Bristol Airport plans to expand by 2mppa

The public inquiry into Bristol Airport’s expansion proposal began on 20th July with the airport hoping to overturn North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse the expansion plans in February 2020. The inquiry is overseen by the Planning Inspectorate, and is scheduled to run until mid-October with three independent inspectors appointed to consider the airport’s appeal. The airport wants to be allowed to have an extra 2 million annual passengers, from 10 million to 12 million. In its recently-published Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP), the DfT committed itself to achieving net zero within the aviation sector by 2050. Allowing airport expansion scheme is not going to help with that – quite the reverse. The worry is that, though the various expansion schemes for Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Leeds Bradford and Southampton – taken separately – look relatively small, collectively (and including Heathrow) the increase in carbon would be huge. The recent TDP does not follow the recommendation from its official advisors, the CCC, that any airport expansion should be offset by reducing flights elsewhere.
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Bristol Airport: Inquiry into expansion refusal begins

20.7.2021 (BBC)
Weston Town Hall protest - Bristol Airport appeal (Tuesday 20 July)
A protest was held outside the appeal hearing venue at Weston Town Hall
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A council has defended its decision to reject expansion proposals of an airport despite the threat of a costly planning appeal.

North Somerset Council voted overwhelmingly to reject Bristol Airport’s plans in February 2020.

The hearing began earlier after Bristol Airport challenged the decision.

Council leader Don Davies (Independent) said: “This unfortunately is used by big business the world over to try and cow members to do things for profit.”

Heat dome

“This airport is not owned locally, it’s owned by a Canadian pension scheme and what is the motivation for the appeal?

“They barely got eight million passengers per annum previous to the planning application.

“They have permission for up to 10 million passengers so there was a 12% window of expansion there already.

“It is ironic that a country like Canada was wrecked … by the heat dome – but they can’t see the impact of the expansion on the environment here in north Somerset,” Mr Davies added.

The expansion will mean capacity will rise to 12 million passengers per year which the airport says will create new jobs and support the local economy.

Critics protesting outside the hearing venue in Weston said more flights would increase global warming.

Witnesses will range from Bristol Airport executives, industry experts, environmental campaigners and parish councillors.

If the decision is overturned, there will be more flights and extra car parking spaces to grow the business.

The hearing which began at 10:00 BST saw a representative for the airport put forward its case.

Counsel for Bristol Airport, Michael Humphries QC said: “The government has made clear the importance it attaches to airports and their expansion.

“The merits of government policy are not a matter of debate for this local planning inquiry.

“The expansion of the airport does not cut across climate change ambitions that we all share.  It is consistent with and complements them.”  (sic)

Carbon footprint

Ahead of the hearing, the airport’s procurement manager Susannah Caws said: “Would you stop going on holiday?

“Would you stop flying? If I asked whether they would ever stop flying because of the carbon footprint I’m not sure anybody would.

“All we can do is do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint where possible.

“People will always fly and it’s how we mitigate that where possible.”

She said mitigation would include ensuring all of its vehicles were electric and that its electricity came from renewable sources.
The Parish Councils Airport Association represents 30 parish councils in the area, all of which oppose the plans.

Chairwoman Hilary Burn said: “I commend anybody who moves forward in an environmentally-friendly way.

“Let’s not forget the elephant in the room – the new modernised flights, which are coming, which are electric, don’t come until 2035.

“We know we have a biodiversity crisis and a climate crisis and we know that we have to act for 2030.

“We have to do our utmost to reduce carbon.”

CEO of Bristol Airport, Dave Lees said: “Bristol Airport is important to the region and its recovery and that includes a greener future.

“We want to improve connectivity – that’s what businesses are telling us.

“We want to avoid people having to travel up to London – it’s new and existing demand from people in our region.”

The appeal is expected to last at least two months and will be streamed on North Somerset Council’s YouTube channel.

Bristol Airport protest outside the appeal hearing venue on Tuesday 20 July 2021

Last year 18 North Somerset councillors voting against the plan, and seven voting for it. https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/bristol-airport-waiting-on-feedback-after-expansion-is-rejected-25-02-2020/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-57898791

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See earlier:

Bristol Airport expansion (for 2 mppa more) public inquiry to will start on July 20th, for 10 weeks

The expansion plans would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year.  The public inquiry into the expansion plans is due to start on July 20 and last 10 weeks. The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its expansion plans. Bristol City Council has also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal. The inquiry will be held in person and online, via Teams, though requests had been made for it to be online only, due to Covid. Campaigners say any expansion of the airport would lead to higher carbon emissions, congested roads and more plane noise. A number of campaign groups including the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) , the Parish Councils Airport Association and Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAE) are all set to give evidence at the inquiry. The Planning Inspectorate team will be led by Philip Ware.

Click here to view full story…

New NEF report shows the climate impact of regional airport plans has been considerably underestimated

See original image in the Guardian article here

For UK to properly take account of the overall climate impact of UK aviation – it needs to consider the emissions from departing AND arriving flights (it currently ignores arriving flights). And also the non-CO2 impacts on climate. Maximum impact is multiplier of x3 (shown here). The multiplier could be x2.

A report by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) says the climate impact of expansion plans at regional airports in England has been dramatically underestimated and would threaten the UK’s legally binding climate commitments.  NEF calculated that proposals to expand 4 airports (Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Southampton and Stansted) will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions up to 8 times higher than the airports previously claimed. This means the alleged economic benefits claimed, from more aviation, were overestimated, as they ignore around £13.4bn worth of climate damage the extra flights could cause. Alex Chapman, the author of the report, said the findings raised concerns about the level of scrutiny the airport expansion proposals had received from government. Alex said: “The secretary of state should step in and conduct an independent review of all four of these proposals and their compatibility with the UK’s climate targets.”  The airports all use unproven and undeveloped technologies to achieve future fuel-efficiency savings. Most airports only took account of CO2 of outbound flights, not of inbound flights, and ignored the non-CO2 impacts of flights.

Click here to view full story…

Bristol Airport withdraws application to be allowed many more night flights

Bristol Airport is pushing on with its expansion plans, despite withdrawing the application to the DfT to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”. The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers.  It would have given the airport complete freedom to schedule night flights across the year, with the declared intention to increase summer (summer is 7 months) night flights.  Flights are currently allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season. Allowing more flights at night would improve airline profits and “efficiency” (allegedly).  And airport spokesperson said the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans, and the airport will resubmit the coordinated status application when/if passenger numbers return to high levels – such as numbers in 2019. There is currently an appeal by the airport, against their rejection by North Somerset council last year.  There are now 7 airports that have coordinated status, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester) and this is normally for congested airports. The airport currently has a cap of 10 million annual passengers.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Environmental Audit Cttee (EAC) call for evidence on “net zero aviation” and shipping

The (really excellent) Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has started a call for evidence for its inquiry on how to achieve “net zero” aviation and shipping.  It closes on 3 September and “Respondents need not answer all the questions and evidence need not be limited to these questions.” Aviation now makes up (2019) 7% of UK carbon emissions, and shipping 3%. The Government’s recently published “Transport Decarbonisation Strategy” has pledged that new technology will allow domestic flights to be emissions-free by 2040, and international aviation to be zero carbon by 2050. The EAC asks a lot of vital questions about this, such as that the industry’s plans need rely on carbon removal, the technologies for which are not yet developed at scale.  They point out that reducing demand for air travel represents the most cost-effective method available for maintaining current emission levels (though the government is unwilling to introduce measures to restrict air travel demand. The EAC is asking for comment on future production/availability of low carbon fuels, and the most equitable way to reduce aircraft passenger numbers (e.g. taxation, frequent flyer levies, restrictions on airport capacity etc).
.

 

 

Call for Evidence by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)

Net zero aviation and shipping

https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/542/

The Environmental Audit Committee is launching an inquiry into net zero aviation and shipping.

Aviation and shipping pose major challenges to reducing emissions, due to their reliance on fossil fuels and since international emissions were not included in the Paris climate change agreement, requiring countries to take action. Together they account for 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions and on current trends, aviation will be the largest emitting sector by 2050.[1]

Following the Climate Change Committee’s advice, the Government has confirmed that the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget (covering the years 2033 to 2037) will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions for the first time.[2] The Government has said it aims to introduce the necessary legislation to include these emissions within the next year.[3]

Aviation

The UK Government, international bodies and the aviation industry have proposed a number of initiatives to mitigate emissions from aviation, including:

  • Market-based measures such as the United Nations CORSIA program, EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the UK ETS;
  • Measures to improve the fuel efficiency of conventional aviation such as through changes to aircraft, air traffic management, airspace modernisation and ground operations at airports; and
  • Measures to promote the development and use of low carbon technologies such as zero carbon fuels (electricity and hydrogen), alternative hydrocarbon fuels (biofuels) and aircraft designs (wing, airframe and engine designs).[4]

The Government’s recently published Transport Decarbonisation Strategy has pledged that new technology will allow domestic flights to be emissions-free by 2040, and international aviation to be zero carbon by 2050.

The UK has a large and mature aviation sector comprising aircraft manufacturers, fuel producers and air service providers, and is well-placed to take a technological lead. According to the industry, without Government support, low carbon technologies are unlikely to develop fast enough to play a significant role in mitigating emissions before 2050.[5]

The industry’s plans to meet net zero by 2050, rely on aviation funding carbon removal, the technologies for which are not yet developed at scale.[6]

The Jet Zero Council (a partnership between industry and Government) has been established with the aim of delivering zero-emission transatlantic flight within a generation.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed a global offsetting mechanism, called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) which aims to stabilise net CO emissions starting in 2021, but it has been criticised for not requiring emission reductions.[7]

Reducing demand for air travel represents the most cost-effective method available for maintaining current emission levels.[8] 96% of the UK’s aviation emissions come from international, mainly long-haul, flights,[9] while around 15% of the UK’s population generate over 70% of the UK’s international air travel.[10] Targeted efforts towards those that fly frequently to adopt new behaviour could result in significant emissions reductions.

Shipping

Most people do not realise they have any connection with shipping, unless they take a cruise, but huge quantities of consumer goods and food comes into the UK by sea. International shipping transports more than 80% cent of global trade,[11] and it is expected that global demand for shipping will increase in the next few decades.

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has responsibility for international shipping emissions, CO₂ emissions from shipping are projected to increase by up to 50% above 2018 levels by 2050 if no actions are taken.[12]

Heavy fuel oil dominates the fuel consumed by international shipping (79%), this has started to decrease but has increased the share of marine diesel oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The increased use of LNG in the last six years has increased methane emissions by 150%,[13] while the EU’s green fuel law for shipping is expected to allow LNG to power EU ships at the union’s ports until around 2040, which could undermine efforts to adopt low carbon fuels.[14]

The IMO has set a sector-wide goal to reduce absolute emissions 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. Yet its current regulations—design and technical measures and operational measures—will not be sufficient to drive the levels of improvement required.[15] To meet its ambitions will also require new technology and innovation (such as wind assisted vessels), zero carbon fuels such as ammonia (made from low carbon hydrogen) and the development of the maritime infrastructure.[16]

The Committee is inviting written submissions on:

  • What contribution can operational efficiencies make to reduce emissions from aircraft / shipping vessels and over what timescale could these have an effect on emissions?
  • How close are zero carbon fuels to commercialisation for aviation / shipping? How effective will the Jet Zero Council be in catalysing zero emissions technologies? What role should transitional fuels such as alternative hydrocarbon fuels play?
  • What new technologies are there to reduce emissions from aircraft / shipping vessels and how close to commercialisation are they?
  • How should the Government’s net zero aviation strategy support UK industry in the development and uptake of technologies, fuels and infrastructure to deliver net zero shipping and aviation?
  • What is the most equitable way to reduce aircraft passenger numbers (e.g. reforming air passenger duty and taxes, frequent flyer levies, bans on domestic flights where trains are available, restrictions on airport capacity)? Are there any policy mechanisms that could reduce our reliance on shipping?
  • What further action is needed by the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Maritime Organization to drive emissions reductions? What can the UK Government do to drive international action on emissions?
  • How effective will the global offsetting scheme for international airlines (ICAO’s CORSIA) and the UK and EU ETS be at stimulating technology improvement and/ or behaviour change to reduce emissions from aviation / shipping?
  • How should the UK define its ownership of international aviation and shipping emissions (i.e. arrivals, departures or both) in order to include them in legislative targets?

 

Written evidence should be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by 3 September. Respondents need not answer all the questions and evidence need not be limited to these questions. Submissions should be not more than 3,000 words but shorter submissions are welcomed and encouraged.

We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses.

It is recommended that all submitters familiarise themselves with the Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons which outlines word count, format, document size, and content restrictions.

 

[1] Aviation is responsible for 7% and shipping 3% of national CO emissions. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 2020. Climate Change and Aviation; ECIU. 2018. Exploring net zero: Aviation and Shipping

[2] HM Government. UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035, 20 April 2021; Measuring emissions from aviation and shipping is complicated by the ownership of emissions, with most journeys being international, travelling between two or more countries and operated in some cases by companies belonging to third party nation

[3] Sixth Carbon Budget Debate – Hansard, 21 June 2021

[4] House of Commons Library. 2021. Aviation, decarbonisation and climate change

[5] Sustainable Aviation. 2021. UK aviation industry strengthens commitment to achieving net zero and launches first interim decarbonisation targets; Sustainable Aviation. 2020. Sustainable fuels UK Road-Map, February 2020

[6] Either through nature based solutions or through negative emissions technologies.

[7] Carbon Brief. 2019. Corsia: The UN’s plan to ‘offset’ growth in aviation emissions

[8] Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 2020. Climate Change and Aviation

[9] Climate Change Committee. 2019. Net Zero Technical Report

[10] Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 2020. Climate Change and Aviation

[11] International Maritime Organization. 2021. Website

[12] International Maritime Organization. 2020. Fourth IMO GHG Study.

[13] International Maritime Organization. 2020. Fourth IMO GHG Study.

[14] The Guardian. Draft EU policy to cut shipping emissions condemned as ‘disaster’, 23 June 2021

[15] IMO. Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping

[16] IMO. Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping; ECIU. 2018. Exploring net zero: Aviation and Shipping. 

https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/542/

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See earlier:

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “sustainable aviation fuels” (spoiler…crazy over-optimism)

The DfT’s consultation on reducing aviation carbon emissions, “Jet Zero” places a lot of faith in finding novel, low carbon fuels, so people can continue to fly as much as they want. These are called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF). The consultation says SAF “could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.” The economic opportunity aspect, and producing jobs, is key for the DfT.  They say “Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for long-haul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact.” The DfT is hoping SAF could “result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” SAF would either be biogenic, non-biogenic (from wastes) or made using zero-carbon electricity.  There are huge problems, glossed over by the consultation. A key problem is that “there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF.” The DfT “will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake.”

Click here to view full story…

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “Influencing Consumers” – keep flying, depend on techno-optimism

The DfT has launched its consultation, called “Jet Zero” on how the UK might decarbonise flights, by 2050. One really effective way to do that would be to reduce the demand for air travel, which is what the Climate Change Committee  (CCC) recommended. The CCC said (24th June) “Lack of ambition for aviation demand management would result in higher emissions of 6.4 MtCO2e/year in 2030 relative to the CCC pathway for aviation emissions.” But the Jet Zero consultation just says “We want to preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable travel choices.” And “This Government is committed to tackling the CO2 emissions from flights, whilst preserving the ability for people to fly.” And “we currently believe the sector can achieve Jet Zero without the Government needing to intervene directly to limit aviation growth” and cut aviation CO2 by as much as the CCC says is needed, but by other means – SAF, hydrogen, electric planes etc. It then says it will “seek to address residual carbon emissions through robust, verifiable offsets and additional greenhouse gas removals.” And it acknowledges that these are all “currently at a relatively early stage of development and [their deployment] requires collaboration and commitment across all parts of the sector if it is to succeed.” It also considers carbon information for flights, but only so people can still fly, but choose different airline options.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

Read more »

No 3rd Runway Coalition: “Heathrow expansion stopping UK from jet zero dreams”

The government hopes all international flights from the UK can be made “net zero” for carbon emissions by 2050. Its new consultation, called “Jet Zero” sets out what the DfT is hoping for, with the remarkable reduction in carbon emissions largely being brought about by “sustainable aviation fuels.” The DfT is not keen on doing anything that would deliberately restrict air travel demand. Campaigners at Heathrow, the No 3rd Runway Coalition, point out that it would be hard enough to get anywhere near net zero for aviation emissions, even without airport expansion plans being allowed. And it would be completely impossible, if a 3rd Heathrow runway was allowed, adding perhaps up to another 9 million more tons of CO2 per year to be emitted. Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “It has long been clear that Heathrow’s 3rd runway is incompatible with the UK climate targets and would take up the vast majority of aviation’s residual emissions in 2050.”
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HEATHROW EXPANSION STOPPING UK FROM JET ZERO
DREAMS

14 July 2021

No 3rd Runway Coalition

The Government have published a Jet Zero Aviation consultation which primarily looks at achieving Net Zero emissions within the aviation sector by 2050, with domestic aviation’s target set at 2040 (1).

Campaign group No 3rd Runway Coalition, who want to see plans for a carbon-intensive 3rd runway at Heathrow Airport scrapped, described the Government’s approach as “immaterial” until Heathrow expansion is ruled out.

The consultation ‘evidence and analysis’ document (2) published alongside the main
consultation document contains advice from the Government’s Climate Change
Committee (CCC), states that all the scenarios do not bring down aviation’s emissions
to net zero. Even with Sustainable Aviation Fuels – which the Government have
repeatedly placed a lot of faith in the development of, the sector will still be emitting 9
megatonnes of CO2 per year in 2050 (3). The document states that due to remaining
emissions, cuts will have to be made in other sectors. The consultation asks for views on how to do achieve this.

The reason for these high levels of residual emissions would appear to be because
Heathrow expansion is yet to be cancelled. The evidence and analysis document says
that the various scenarios put forward are accounting for Heathrow expansion taking
place. It cites fact that the National Policy Statement (the policy document upon which
Heathrow expansion is based – passed in 2018) still stands, even though this Government have tried to distance themselves from it (4).

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “It has long been clear that Heathrow’s 3rd runway is incompatible with the UK climate targets and would take up the vast majority of aviation’s residual emissions in 2050. The Government’s laudable goal to achieve decarbonisation in aviation can only be achieved by ruling out Heathrow expansion of once and for all.”

ENDS.

Notes
1) Jet Zero consultation –
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/achieving-net-zero-aviationby-2050
2) Jet Zero – evidence and analysis document https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002163/jet-zero-consultation-evidence-and-analysis.pdf
3) Table on p. 19 of evidence and analysis document
4) Sections A.5 – A.7, page 21/22 of evidence and analysis document


“Achieving net zero aviation by 2050”

A consultation on our strategy for net zero aviation.  Ends 8th September.
See earlier:

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “sustainable aviation fuels” (spoiler…crazy over-optimism)

The DfT’s consultation on reducing aviation carbon emissions, “Jet Zero” places a lot of faith in finding novel, low carbon fuels, so people can continue to fly as much as they want. These are called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF). The consultation says SAF “could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.” The economic opportunity aspect, and producing jobs, is key for the DfT.  They say “Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for long-haul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact.” The DfT is hoping SAF could “result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” SAF would either be biogenic, non-biogenic (from wastes) or made using zero-carbon electricity.  There are huge problems, glossed over by the consultation. A key problem is that “there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF.” The DfT “will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake.”

Click here to view full story…

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “Influencing Consumers” – keep flying, depend on techno-optimism

The DfT has launched its consultation, called “Jet Zero” on how the UK might decarbonise flights, by 2050. One really effective way to do that would be to reduce the demand for air travel, which is what the Climate Change Committee  (CCC) recommended. The CCC said (24th June) “Lack of ambition for aviation demand management would result in higher emissions of 6.4 MtCO2e/year in 2030 relative to the CCC pathway for aviation emissions.” But the Jet Zero consultation just says “We want to preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable travel choices.” And “This Government is committed to tackling the CO2 emissions from flights, whilst preserving the ability for people to fly.” And “we currently believe the sector can achieve Jet Zero without the Government needing to intervene directly to limit aviation growth” and cut aviation CO2 by as much as the CCC says is needed, but by other means – SAF, hydrogen, electric planes etc. It then says it will “seek to address residual carbon emissions through robust, verifiable offsets and additional greenhouse gas removals.” And it acknowledges that these are all “currently at a relatively early stage of development and [their deployment] requires collaboration and commitment across all parts of the sector if it is to succeed.” It also considers carbon information for flights, but only so people can still fly, but choose different airline options.

Click here to view full story…


Read more »

Stay Grounded considers “EU 55” proposals to cut aviation CO2 too slow, too many loopholes

The EU Commission has published its Fit for 55 climate package, which includes some changes for aviation. The Stay Grounded network of 170 aviation campaigns organisations welcomes the plan to end the tax exemption for jet fuel, but condemns its slow introduction, the problematic exemption for cargo flights and the limitation to intra-EU flights. It also criticises the unambitious changes in the EU ETS and the adoption of CORSIA for extra-EU flights. A key problem is that flights to non-EU destinations would not be included in the kerosene tax. Member states can and should decide to tax cargo-only and extra-EU flights, but the sector has lobbied hard against any higher charges. The new EU proposal is to introduce a “tighter cap” on the number of free allowances European airlines get for flights within the EU, through the EU ETS. But leaving flights to destinations outside the EU to the CORSIA scheme is unhelpful, as the scheme is too weak to have any effect. The EU consider that sustainable aviation fuels should account for at least 5% of aviation fuels by 2030 and 63% by 2050, and of that synthetic fuels should contribute to at least 28% of the aviation fuel mix by 2050. Stay Grounded says this is ridiculous, as is placing too much reliance on “sustainable” jet fuels in future, with their likely environmental impacts and demand for electricity.
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EU Fit for 55 Aviation Rules: Too Many Loopholes and Too Slow

Stay Grounded press release
July 14, 2021

EU’s Proposed End of Kerosene Tax Exemption Welcomed, but Lacks Ambition


Vienna/Brussels
– Today, the EU Commission published its Fit for 55 climate package, which includes some changes for aviation. The Stay Grounded network welcomes the plan to end the tax exemption for jet fuel, but condemns its slow introduction, the problematic exemption for cargo flights and the limitation to intra-EU flights. It also criticizes the unambitious changes in the EU emissions trading scheme and the adoption of CORSIA for extra-EU flights.

This package will not make Europe’s aviation sector fit for 55% emissions reductions by 2030! It’s important to finally get rid of the kerosene tax exemption, but the plan is not strong enough. The rollout over 10 years is way too slow! To stop flying straight into climate breakdown we have to fully tax aviation immediately,“ says Magdalena Heuwieser, spokesperson of Stay Grounded.

The network of 170 organisations says it is disappointing that flights to non-EU destinations would not be included in the kerosene tax. Stay Grounded especially criticizes that cargo-only flights are to be exempted from the kerosene tax. “However, member states can and should decide to tax cargo-only and extra-EU flights, too”, demands Heuwieser.

Cargo-only flights currently have an above-average market share of 10-11%. “This exemption is unacceptable. Freight companies like DHL, FedEx and UPS have lobbied strongly against a revised energy tax and a reduction of free allowances in the ETS”, adds Heuwieser. The aviation industry and freight lobby groups have been trying to divert attention from necessary climate measures by putting their communication focus on unlikely future technological fixes, as a newly published report shows. Resistance is rising against aviation’s climate impact. Just recently, last weekend, a climate action took place in Leipzig, Germany, against one of the biggest freight airports.

The EU proposal also includes a “tighter cap” on the number of free allowances European airlines get within the EU Emissions Trading System, and integrates the UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). “Free allowances for airlines must be eliminated immediately, we cannot wait until 2026. It is crazy to continue giving airlines free permits to pollute. Also, leaving extra-EU flights to the offsetting mechanism of CORSIA is a bad idea”, says Heuwieser.

CORSIA does more harm than good to the climate. It is too broken to fix, and no more than greenwashing, designed to allow business as usual for decades to come. Scientific analyses show that emissions trading and offsetting will fail to effectively reduce aviation emissions. Instead of offering polluters the option to buy themselves out of the commitment to cut emissions, we need clear limits and to stop subsidies”, adds Heuwieser.

Stay Grounded also points out that the goal of only 5% alternative aviation fuels by 2030 is ridiculous, and rejects the use of biofuels which can lead to deforestation, human rights violations and even more emissions. Even by 2050, the current EU plan will allow the EU’s airlines to use one third conventional kerosene. “If we drastically reduce flights, it could be possible to achieve 100% renewable e-fuels sooner than 2050”, concludes Heuwieser.

Stay Grounded is a global network representing 170 member organisations, campaigning for a reduction of air traffic and a climate-just mobility system.

Press Contact:

Magdalena Heuwieser, Stay Grounded
Email: press@stay-grounded.org
Phone: +43 650 3773 102

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What is EU 55?

European Green Deal: Commission proposes transformation of EU economy and society to meet climate ambitions

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_3541

14.7.2021

“Today, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With today’s proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform our economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.”

 

On transport and aviation this says:

“The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) puts a price on carbon and lowers the cap on emissions from certain economic sectors every year. It has successfully brought down emissions from power generation and energy-intensive industries by 42.8% in the past 16 years. Today the Commission is proposing to lower the overall emission cap even further and increase its annual rate of reduction. The Commission is also proposing to phase out free emission allowances for aviation and align with the global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and to include shipping emissions for the first time in the EU ETS.”

and

“Aviation and maritime fuels cause significant pollution and also require dedicated action to complement emissions trading. The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation requires that aircraft and ships have access to clean electricity supply in major ports and airports. The ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative will oblige fuel suppliers to blend increasing levels of sustainable aviation fuels in jet fuel taken on-board at EU airports, including synthetic low carbon fuels, known as e-fuels. ”

and

“Background

The European Green Deal, presented by the Commission on 11 December 2019, sets the goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The European Climate Law, which enters into force this month, enshrines in binding legislation the EU’s commitment to climate neutrality and the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.The EU’s commitment to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 was communicated to the UNFCCC in December 2020 as the EU’s contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

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ReFuelEU Aviation – sustainable aviation fuels

The  Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport

14.7.2021

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/refueleu_aviation_-_sustainable_aviation_fuels.pdf

says:

“While several sustainable aviation fuels pathways are certified to be used in aviation, their use is currently negligible, for lack of production at affordable cost. A blending mandate specifically targeting the aviation sector is necessary, in order to spur the market uptake of the most innovative and sustainable fuel technologies. This would allow to scale up production capacity and lower production costs over time. Given that sustainable aviation fuels should account for at least 5% of aviation fuels by 2030 and 63% by 2050, it is essential that the fuel technologies supported under this Regulation have the highest potential in terms of innovation, decarbonisation and availability. This is a sine qua non condition in order to meet future aviation demand and contribute to achieving the decarbonisation objectives.

“This should cover notably advanced biofuels and synthetic aviation fuels. In particular, synthetic aviation fuels have the potential to achieve emission savings as high as 85% or more compared to fossil aviation fuel. When produced from renewable electricity and carbon captured directly from the air, the potential emission savings compared to fossil aviation fuel can reach 100%.

“As such, synthetic aviation fuels have the highest potential for decarbonisation of all fuels considered under this initiative. Their production process is also particularly resource efficient, notably as regards the use of water, compared to the production of other sustainable aviation fuels pathways. While synthetic aviation fuels could contribute significantly to decarbonise the sector, its emergence on the market in sizeable volumes by 2030 is unlikely in the absence of dedicated policy support. Indeed, the production costs of synthetic aviation fuels are currently estimated at 3 to 6 times the current market price of fossil aviation fuel.

“As synthetic aviation fuels are expected to play a role in the decarbonisation of the sector already by 2030, and should contribute to at least 28% of the aviation fuel mix by 2050, it is therefore necessary for this Regulation to set out dedicated sub-obligation, pushing their introduction on the market. This is expected to partly de-risk investments in synthetic aviation fuels production capacity and allow the production capacity to scale-up. ”

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/refueleu_aviation_-_sustainable_aviation_fuels.pdf

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Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “sustainable aviation fuels” (spoiler…crazy over-optimism)

The DfT’s consultation (ends 8th September) on reducing aviation carbon emissions, “Jet Zero” places a lot of faith in finding novel, low carbon fuels, so people can continue to fly as much as they want. These are called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” (SAF). The consultation says SAF “could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.” The economic opportunity aspect, and producing jobs, is key for the DfT.  They say “Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for long-haul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact.” The DfT is hoping SAF could “result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” SAF would either be biogenic, non-biogenic (from wastes) or made using zero-carbon electricity.  There are huge problems, glossed over by the consultation. A key problem is that “there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF.” The DfT “will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake.”
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The Jet Zero consultation

“Achieving net zero aviation by 2050”

From:   Department for TransportPublished14 July 2021


Some extracts of the text relating to Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)

P 26 – 29

Sustainable aviation fuels could play a key role in decarbonising aviation, whilst also representing an industrial leadership opportunity for the UK.

3.13 As well as improving the efficiency of aircraft, we need to reduce the climate impact of the fuels that they use.

3.14 SAF are a ‘drop in’ option, meaning they can be blended into fossil-based aviation fuel and used in existing aircraft without modification and therefore could deliver both medium- and long-term CO2 emissions savings.
Many experts view SAF as the only alternative for longhaul flights up to 2050, which are the flights with the biggest climate impact; it is estimated that flights greater than 5,000km (equivalent to a flight from London to Bahrain), which make up just 10% of overall flights, are responsible for over 60% of UK aviation emissions.27

3.15 When compared to conventional fossil aviation fuel, SAF produced from feedstocks with strong sustainability credentials can result in over 70% CO2 emissions saving on a lifecycle basis28 and could deliver net zero emissions with the addition of greenhouse gas removal technologies. Most SAF also emit less soot and particulate matter compared with conventional fossil jet fuel which is expected to reduce non-CO2 climate impacts.

What are SAF?

“SAF” are low carbon alternatives to conventional, fossil-derived, aviation fuel – ‘drop in equivalents’ that present similar characteristics to conventional jet fuel. Generally, SAF
can be produced from three types of feedstock:

• Biomass: this includes biogenic waste, e.g. used cooking oil.
• Non-biogenic waste: e.g. unrecyclable plastics or waste fossil gases from industry.
• CO2 + green hydrogen: zero-carbon electricity is used to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis; hydrogen then reacts with CO2 captured from the air or waste industrial exhaust streams to produce a synthetic fuel. This process is known as Power-to-liquid (PtL).
….

The benefits of sustainable aviation fuel 29

A UK SAF industry could generate between £700m–£1.6bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) per year.

Creating between 5,000–11,000 green jobs.

Helping the UK to ‘level up’ and not rely on oil imports, with production facilities across the whole of the UK.

—-
The Jet Zero Council SAF Delivery Group has been set up for government and industry
to work together to establish UK SAF production facilities and accelerate the delivery of the fuel to market. It is focused on the development of a UK SAF mandate, the commercialisation of the sector, and the technologies and feedstocks that the UK
should prioritise.

3.17 SAF supply is already rewarded through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which provides tradeable certificates for every litre of certain sustainable fuels used for aviation. The Government has also provided grant funding
to businesses through our Advanced Biofuel Demonstration Competition (2014) and Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (2017), putting the UK in a strong position to develop advanced fuels capable of decarbonising harder-to-decarbonise sectors. We are now building on this ambition through the Green Fuels, Green Skies competition which is providing £15m in 2021-22 to support the early development of first-of-a-kind commercial SAF plants in the UK.

3.18 Our strategy will build on this commitment. We are continuing to develop plans for a SAF clearing house and will shortly consult on a UK SAF blending mandate to kickstart the market which could enable greater SAF uptake than is within the CCC’s Balanced Pathway. We are keen to maximise the environmental and industrial opportunities
that SAF offer and, in the upcoming months, we will also consider whether further innovative policy mechanisms are needed to provide greater confidence to UK SAF producers.

3.19 At the time of writing there is currently no comprehensive global regulatory standard for SAF sustainability. The UK is therefore active at ICAO in negotiating for a full set of sustainability criteria for SAF that will underpin its global deployment. At the same time, we recognise that a global ambition for future SAF deployment may help to give certainty to the global industry and avoid some of the challenges associated with states acting alone.
Any such goal would need to be underpinned by strong sustainability criteria.

3.20 Our vision is to scale up SAF over the coming years, such that out to 2050 they are primarily used on flights that may be more challenging to conduct by zero emission aircraft – most likely the long-haul flights that are responsible for the bulk of emissions – whilst ensuring that the UK secures the huge economic prize on offer: reducing dependence on imported oil and creating new green jobs across the UK.

Rolls-Royce case study

As part of their ATI Programme project
‘SIRUS’, supported with a £16m
government grant, Rolls-Royce have
undertaken engine ground tests using
100% SAF. Covering emissions, efficiency,
noise and operability, Rolls-Royce aim
to make all their civil aero-engines in
production compatible with 100% SAF by
2023, double the current maximum blend
of 50%. This will allow SAF to contribute
further to our net zero commitment and
places Rolls-Royce and the UK at the
forefront of this increasingly important field.

Our existing policy commitments:

• We will shortly consult on a UK SAF mandate setting out our level of ambition for future SAF uptake and defining the scope, technology, compliance and reporting implications underpinned by it.

• We have formed the Clean Skies for Tomorrow SAF Ambassadors group, which will develop, pilot and promote industry-led policy proposals for national SAF policies,
ahead of COP26.

• We will continue to engage SAF stakeholders through the Jet Zero Council SAF Delivery Group, to ensure future SAF policy is robust.

• We have consulted on the possibility of expanding the RTFO to reward recycled carbon fuels (RCF) which are produced from fossil wastes that cannot be avoided, reused or recycled.

• We are supporting the development of SAF through the Green Fuel, Green Skies competition, through which companies will be able to bid for a share of £15 million
in 2021-22 to kickstart the development of first-of-a-kind production plants in the UK. Successful projects are expected to be announced in summer 2021.

• We will establish a SAF clearing house to enable early stage aviation fuel testing as an essential capability to support our decarbonisation agenda.

Our new policy proposals:

• We will consider whether further policies are needed to provide SAF producers with greater confidence and encourage UK production.

• We will continue to negotiate in ICAO for comprehensive SAF sustainability standards and to work towards a future global SAF objective. We will also work with smaller groups of states to coordinate on SAF policies where this can be complementary to ICAO’s work.

• We will look at the feasibility of using SAF on UK Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes.

• Alongside the five-year reviews of this strategy, we will undertake a SAF-specific review by 2030, once the supportive policy framework is in place, and SAF production is being scaled up, and use this to confirm a SAF trajectory to 2050.

• We will work across government to pioneer the accelerated procurement and use of SAF.

Questions…

7. Do you agree or disagree with the overall approach for the development and uptake of SAF in the UK?

8. What further measures are needed to support the development of a globally competitive UK SAF industry and increase SAF usage?

 

 


The Jet Zero consultation

“Achieving net zero aviation by 2050”

Summary

Our vision for the aviation sector to reach net zero aviation, or jet zero, by 2050.

This consultation closes at 

Consultation description

Sets out our proposed approach and principles to reach net zero aviation by 2050.

Our ambition is to:

  • decarbonise aviation in a way that preserves the benefits of air travel
  • maximise the opportunities that decarbonisation can bring

We are proposing a suite of policies to support industry to reduce and, where possible, eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. These policies span 5 different measures that aim to:

  • improve the efficiency of our aviation system
  • accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels
  • support the development of zero emission flight
  • ensure we use markets to drive down emissions in the most cost-effective way
  • influence the behaviour of consumers

The consultation will inform the final jet zero strategy.

Documents

Jet Zero Consultation

A consultation on our strategy for net zero aviation

Respond online     or  Complete a response form and either Email to:   NZaviationconsultation@dft.gov.uk

Write to:

Aviation Decarbonisation Division
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London  SW1P 4DR



See earlier:

Unconvincing airline hype about large future use of so called “sustainable aviation fuels”

Airlines are falling over each other, to say how much “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” (SAF) they plan to use in future, and how this will greatly increase their carbon emissions. Ryanair says it will use 12.5% SAF by 2030; IAG says it will use 10% by 2030; easyJet says they will use SAF in the short term, but “we must avoid all resources being drawn into SAFs, which don’t fully solve the problem.”  According to the European Commission, SAF currently accounts for just 0.05% of jet fuel use in the EU, and without further regulation, the share is expected to reach just 2.8% by 2050. There is disagreement between low cost, short haul airlines and those flying longer routes, about whether SAF fuel quotas should apply to all flights, not only short haul. Long-haul air services departing European airports accounted for 48% of CO2 emissions from all operations in 2019, while making up just 6% of flights, according to Eurocontrol data.  It is unclear what all this SAF is going to be made from. One of the very few fuels thought to genuinely be low carbon, up to now, has been used cooking oil. But it has been revealed that there is considerable fraud, with virgin palm oil (causing deforestation) being passed off as used. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2021/05/unconvincing-airline-hype-about-large-future-use-of-so-called-sustainable-aviation-fuels/
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Read more »

Jet Zero consultation – what it says on “Influencing Consumers” – keep flying, depend on techno-optimism

The DfT has launched its consultation, called “Jet Zero” on how the UK might decarbonise flights, by 2050. One really effective way to do that would be to reduce the demand for air travel, which is what the Climate Change Committee  (CCC) recommended. The CCC said (24th June) “Lack of ambition for aviation demand management would result in higher emissions of 6.4 MtCO2e/year in 2030 relative to the CCC pathway for aviation emissions.” But the Jet Zero consultation just says “We want to preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable travel choices.” And “This Government is committed to tackling the CO2 emissions from flights, whilst preserving the ability for people to fly.” And “we currently believe the sector can achieve Jet Zero without the Government needing to intervene directly to limit aviation growth” and cut aviation CO2 by as much as the CCC says is needed, but by other means – SAF, hydrogen, electric planes etc. It then says it will “seek to address residual carbon emissions through robust, verifiable offsets and additional greenhouse gas removals.” And it acknowledges that these are all “currently at a relatively early stage of development and [their deployment] requires collaboration and commitment across all parts of the sector if it is to succeed.” It also considers carbon information for flights, but only so people can still fly, but choose different airline options.
.

 

 

“Achieving net zero aviation by 2050”

A consultation on our strategy for net zero aviation.  Ends 8th September.

 

Some text from the consultation document is copied below, just looking at the sections on “Influencing Consumers” and “Non-CO2 impacts.”

Influencing consumers

P 38

We want to preserve the ability for people to fly whilst supporting consumers to make sustainable travel choices.

3.39 Flying is a social and economic good, and one that we wholeheartedly support
as a key part of building a Global Britain; our strategy will focus on decarbonising
aviation and delivering sustainable flying for everyone. This Government is
committed to tackling the CO2 emissions from flights, whilst preserving the ability for
people to fly.

3.40 COVID-19 has devastated passenger numbers over the short-term, and we do not yet know what the longer-term effects on demand might be. Only as the pandemic continues to come under control and consumer confidence returns, will we begin to understand how it will affect the sector over the longer-term.

3.41 Nonetheless, even if the sector returns to a pre-COVID-19 demand trajectory, as we have assumed in our analysis, we currently believe the sector can achieve Jet Zero without the Government needing to intervene directly to limit aviation growth. The industry’s need to rebuild from a lower base is likely to mean that plans for airport expansion will be slower to come forward.39
Our analysis shows that there are scenarios that can achieve similar or greater CO2 reductions to those in the CCC’s Balanced Pathway40 (which limits growth to 25% by 2050 compared to 2018 levels compared to a baseline of 65% growth) by focussing on new
fuels and technology, with the knock-on economic and social benefit, rather than
capping demand.

3.42 We recognise that net zero 2050 must be achieved and we must ensure that
any growth in aviation is compatible with our emissions reduction commitments.
The approach we intend to set out in our Strategy will prioritise in-sector reductions
through technological and operational improvements, then seek to address
residual carbon emissions through robust, verifiable offsets and additional greenhouse gas removals.

It relies on the rapid scaleup and deployment of technologies that are currently at a relatively early stage of development and requires collaboration and commitment across all parts of the sector if it is to succeed.

3.43 We also recognise that as a responsible government, we will need to keep our
Strategy under review. As such we intend to assess progress on the sector’s
CO2 emission reduction pathway and our strategy for delivering through our
five-year reviews.

3.44 We expect the approach set out in this draft strategy could impact demand for
aviation indirectly. Where new fuels and technologies are more expensive than their
fossil-fuel equivalents, and where the cost of CO2 emissions are correctly priced into
business models, we expect, as with any price rise, a moderation of demand growth.

3.45 We have recently consulted as a government on changes to Air Passenger
Duty (APD), including seeking views on a potential increase to the number
of distance bands, in order to align the tax more closely with our environmental
objectives. Airlines ordinarily pass the cost of APD onto the passenger and therefore
those passengers who fly more will pay more tax. [ie. they do not accept the principle of the Frequent Flyer Levy. AW note]

3.46 And there are ways in which we can provide consumers with greater opportunities to make sustainable, informed choices on their travel plans, and in turn incentivise industry to decarbonise. For example, by providing better information on the climate impacts of travelling on different routes, or on different airlines. A study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) suggests that emissions per passenger can differ by up to 63% on the same transatlantic route.41

3.47 The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are planning to consult on environmental information provisions later this year and we intend to work with them to explore whether mandating the provision of such information to passengers at the time of booking could enable better progress in this area. We will also work with the CAA to ensure that that any future requirements for environmental information provision does not have any unintended consequences such as distorting competition.

CAA environmental information provision case study

The CAA, in partnership with BritainThinks,
recently launched a research project to explore
the feasibility and utility of sharing carbon
information with consumers, to enable better
decision-making.
The most significant findings were:
• Most participants thought that emissions
information should be universally provided
across all sectors.
• Participants thought that information
provision should both inform the public
about the relative impacts of flying and
encourage airlines to reduce emissions.
• Participants thought that information design
should be standardised, easily accessible,
and have third-party vetting to encourage
trust and reliability.
The research indicated there is a broad
spectrum of how responsive consumers
would be to this information and concluded
that better information provision could provide
an opportunity for consumers to pick more
sustainable flight options.

….
Our new policy proposals:

• We will work with the CAA to explore whether mandating the provision of environmental information to customers at the time of booking flights could influence consumer
decision-making when presented with standard, reliable and accurate flight comparisons.

• We will look at other ways to support consumers to make sustainable choices when booking flights and reward those parts of the aviation sector that move more quickly to decarbonise.

Questions…
13 Do you agree or disagree with the overall focus on influencing consumers?

14 What more can government do to support consumers to make informed, sustainable aviation travel choices?



Non-CO2 impacts

4.1 Tackling the climate impact of aviation is not just about reducing CO2 emissions.
Whilst the long-life span of CO2 in the atmosphere makes tackling it of critical
importance, there are other non-CO2 impacts that also affect the climate and
local air quality: in particular contrails and NOx emissions.

4.2 Contrails – or condensation trails – form from the initial emission of water vapour
and soot particles in the exhaust of aircraft. In high humidity regions of the atmosphere
these contrails can persist and create cirrus clouds. This is understood to create a net warming effect in addition to any CO2 emissions, though the exact scale of the effect has a large degree of uncertainty.
The contribution from any individual flight also depends on factors such as the time of day, as well as the atmospheric conditions.

4.3 NOx emissions increase the levels of ozone (leading to warming) and decrease ambient
methane in the atmosphere (leading to cooling), which is understood to contribute to a net warming effect. Again, confidence in the magnitude of the effect is low.

4.4 Local air quality impacts from aviation occur in areas around airports, accounting
for a small proportion of emissions e.g. 1% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 0.1% of particulate emissions43. Aircraft NOx emissions have therefore long been regulated for air quality purposes, which is also understood to have climate benefits.
The UK played a leading role in the recent adoption by ICAO of the first scientifically
based certification standards for aircraft non-volatile particulate emissions, which
will again have local air quality and climate benefits.

4.5 We are working to address non-CO2 impacts in the following ways:

• Many of the measures to improve efficiencies, rollout SAF, and accelerate zero emission flight are expected to have a positive impact on reducing non-CO2 impacts. Where there is
evidence to the contrary, we will carefully consider the overall impact on the climate.
• We are improving our understanding of non-CO2 impacts and will ensure that the latest scientific understanding of aviation non-CO2 impacts is used to inform our policy.
• ICAO now has standards in place to regulate all aircraft emissions with significant climate effects. We will continue to negotiate for these to be improved over time as well as
consideration of other measures such as operational guidance and regulation of fuel composition.
• We will consider the outcomes of EUROCONTROL’s Contrail Prevention Trial and whether it would be beneficial to undertake similar trials in the UK in the future.


And there is much more in the consultation document.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002154/jet-zero-consultation-a-consultation-on-our-strategy-for-net-zero-aviation.pdf


See earlier:

Climate Change Committee progress report to UK Government – aviation carbon policies sadly lacking

The Climate Change Committee has published its 2021 Progress Report to parliament, on the UK’s actions on climate change.  It says “The Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies.” The report says the government has still not produced its Decarbonisation Strategy, which had been due in 2020. The CCC says government should “Commit to a Net Zero goal and pathway for UK aviation as part of the forthcoming Aviation Decarbonisation Strategy, with UK international aviation reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and domestic aviation potentially earlier.”  It says government should assess its “airport capacity strategy in the context of Net Zero and any lasting impacts on demand from COVID-19, as part of the aviation strategy. There should be no net expansion of UK airport capacity unless the sector is on track to sufficiently outperform its net emissions trajectory and can accommodate the additional demand. A demand management framework will need to be developed (by 2022) and be in place by the mid-2020s to annually assess and, if required, control sector GHG emissions and non-CO2 effects.” Lack of demand management would mean the sector missing its targets. And more …

Click here to view full story…      See also assessment by the AEF 

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