Airports: Carbon Emissions

Department for Transport written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the planned expansion of UK airports is compatible with the Government's policy on CO2 reduction.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government recognises that the fight against climate change is the greatest and most pressing challenge facing the modern world.

The Government is committed to setting a clear ambition for the aviation sector and is carefully considering the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

We are planning to consult shortly on an update to the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how aviation can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions, in order that the aviation sector can continue to thrive.

The Airports National Policy Statement guarantees that any new runway at Heathrow will only be built if an applicant for development consent can demonstrate that any increase in carbon emissions from the scheme will not materially impact the government’s ability to meet its carbon reduction targets, now and in the future.

The Government is also supportive of airports making best use of their existing capacity, subject to the assessment of the merits of individual applications, including consideration of their environmental impacts. The government set out its policy position for the South East of England in Beyond the Horizon: The future of UK aviation: Making best use of existing runways.

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