Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

Department for Transport written question – answered on 4th October 2019.

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Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to study published by the International Council on Clean Transportation in September 2019, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies conclusion that the UK is responsible for four per cent of global aviation CO2 emissions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The 4% figure is based on data from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and allocates emissions to the UK based on all flights departing from the UK. However, there is no international agreement on how to allocate these highly mobile emissions to countries.

The UK’s share of international aviation emissions is expected to decrease in the future given the growth of the aviation sector in countries like Brazil, India, China and the USA. That is why the Government recognises that international action takes priority given the global nature of the sector and climate change. International aviation emissions are a global problem that require a global solution. It is vital that we find an answer that does not simply displace emissions elsewhere across the globe.

The Future Flight Challenge will bring together those across aviation, aerospace and wider to support exciting new technologies that will turbo-charge the adoption of innovative aircraft, such as flying urban taxis, electric passenger planes and even freight-carrying drones. As announced by the Prime Minister in August, the government is investing up to £125 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to £175 million. The Challenge will initially focus on smaller aircraft and drones to ensure the suitability of the new technologies before development them for larger passenger aircraft.

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme supports mid stage R&D projects that deliver the UK’s Aerospace Technology Strategy, while boosting technology spend in the sector and securing manufacturing jobs around the UK. Funding is focused on key technologies to make aircraft quieter, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to manufacture and operate. BEIS is investing £1.95 billion in aerospace R&D from 2013 to 2026, which is matched by industry bringing total R&D investment to £3.9 billion.

In addition, the Committee on Climate Change provided the Government with aviation specific advice on 24 September 2019. We are carefully considering this advice and its implications for Government policy and we will shortly publish a consultation on aviation and climate change.

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