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Course Correction: How the Aviation Industry Needs to Redirect Flight Paths to Net Zero

With legal action targeting the government’s Jet Zero strategy and new analysis showing the airline industry is off track to meet Paris Agreement targets, pressure is mounting on airlines to rethink their decarbonisation plans

Pressure continues on the aviation industry to strengthen its commitment to net zero, after new research showed the sector is still far off course if it wants to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, and campaigners launched fresh legal action against the government’s plans to decarbonization of the sector.

Aviation campaigners Leeds Bradford Airport Action Group (GALBA) today launched a campaign against the Government’s Jet Zero strategy to reduce aviation emissions, confirming they will take the Government to court.

The group accused the government of repeatedly ignoring advice from government climate change advisers to take action to curb demand for flights and presenting a strategy that is “illegitimate”.

Rather than curbing demand for flights, GALBA says the Jet Zero approach encourages “unstoppable aviation and airport growth” and expects new fuels and technologies to be developed to meet the industry’s zero-emissions targets by 2050. The campaign group called the strategy a “fantasy”, warning that experts warned the technologies would be difficult to develop and scale up in time to meet the milestone date.

In particular, the group highlighted how the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) by 2022 Progress report to Parliament criticized the government’s policy on aviation emissions, calling it a “very risky strategy” and stressing that the strategy should include measures to control the demand for flights. “This assessment of progress in the aviation sector shows that there are significant risks to the government’s path to net zero, particularly due to the heavy reliance on a technology approach without sufficient attempts to curb demand,” the CCC said.

GALBA is now trying to test its claims that the strategy breaches the UK’s Climate Change Act in court. The move follows a separate successful legal action against the government’s Net Zero strategy, which earlier this year led to the High Court ordering the government to provide more information by March next year about how its plan is designed to meet legally binding net zero targets. carbon.

“We simply cannot allow the aviation industry to pump out even more greenhouse gases and worsen the climate crisis,” campaigner Nick Hodgkinson said. “The government claims that Jet Zero is how the aviation industry will reach net zero emissions by 2050. But that’s a fantasy. In fact, Jet Zero is doing the opposite – it’s giving the green light to large-scale expansion of airports and emissions. The government is just crossing its fingers and hopefully there will be technological solutions at some point in the future.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) does not comment directly on legal proceedings, but confirmed it had received a letter from GALBA notifying it of its intention to sue. “We aim to decarbonise transport by not stopping people from doing things, but by helping people to do the same things in a different and more sustainable way,” said a DfT spokesperson. “Our analysis shows that the aviation sector can achieve Jet Zero without the need for direct government intervention to limit aviation growth, with net zero targets achieved by focusing on new fuels and technologies in a way that maximizes economic and social benefits rather than limit demand and activity.”

In addition to being on trial for the Jet Zero strategy, the government last week received further criticism for its aviation emissions plans from Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which published new analysis showing that government plans worldwide are currently in line with 4˚ . C warming, which means they are far from compatible with the Paris Agreement.

The UK has been named as one of the top four international aviation emitters, along with the EU, the US and China. Combined, CAT estimated that these countries are responsible for a quarter of CO2 emissions from international aviation.

CAT directly criticized the Jet Zero strategy, stating that “despite its name, [it] will not reduce emissions to zero” and added that this only applies to outbound flights. The analysis reflects GALBA and CCC’s concerns about Jet Zero’s reliance “almost entirely on offsetting schemes and carbon capture technologies that have not yet been developed”.

The report also highlights that Jet Zero plans to increase aviation demand by 70 percent by 2050, which the analysis suggests could increase emissions by 40 percent between 2019 and 2050.

However, increased pressure on the industry to build confidence in its decarbonisation plans appears to be resonating with some airlines. In a surprise move, EasyJet this week unveiled an updated 2050 net-zero plan that ditches the company’s support for carbon offsets and instead focuses on increased investment in carbon capture technologies and sustainable fuel alternatives.

In its new roadmap to Net Zero 2050, the airline announced that it has shifted its focus to investments in the use of greener aviation fuels, a new partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop a hydrogen combustion engine, and plans to develop and deploy carbon removal technologies.

The airline called its new strategy “the most ambitious zero-net airline roadmap to date” and acknowledged that the focus would be on the new technology, but only “when it becomes available”, adding that the necessary technological advances in zero-carbon technology would allow to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger by 78 percent by 2050, with the overall ambition to eventually achieve zero carbon emissions across its entire fleet.

However, EasyJet stressed the measures in its roadmap and the overall decarbonisation of the aviation industry “cannot and will not happen without government support”. The airline said it was working with the industry and a range of politicians to support and accelerate the changes that are needed in the wider aviation industry to accelerate the development of lower emission technologies.

It stressed that support for the development of zero-carbon technology should be at the forefront of the government’s agenda, echoing campaigners’ arguments that the development of the technology needed to meet Jet Zero targets must be accelerated.

EasyJet has called for a regulatory framework for the aviation industry that would reward and incentivize aircraft manufacturers to produce planes that can fly without carbon emissions, such as those that run on hydrogen. In addition, the company called on the government to recognize the importance of carbon removal technology to achieve net zero targets, suggesting that carbon removal credits should be allowed under the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

EasyJet has also announced a number of new initiatives of its own as part of the new strategy. The company said progress towards zero-carbon technology is being made thanks to its partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop new hydrogen combustion engine technology, which the airline says will be capable of powering “narrow-body” aircraft.

The airline also announced that it will invest about $21 billion in the coming years to renew its fleet by replacing older planes with younger, more fuel-efficient models, which it says are “crucial for decarbonisation”. It has already confirmed investment in 168 new aircraft models – the Airbus NEO – which EasyJet says can be 15 per cent more fuel efficient.

EasyJet’s roadmap also included short-term strategies such as operational improvements and fleet-wide efficiency improvements to optimize aircraft downsizing – one of the most fuel-intensive and emissions-generating elements of a flight.

In addition, the airline said it has already contracted all the SAF required to achieve the roadmap with its fuel partner Q8Aviation. The company said it will use SAF as needed until its fleet is converted to zero-emission aircraft, arguing that the fuel offers significant reductions in carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel-derived gas.

The company said it is now working with the Science Based Target (SBTi) initiative on its roadmap, and it will no longer offset emissions from its flights as SBTi standards require airlines to decarbonise within their operations.

EasyJet signed a three-year deal at the end of 2019 in which it agreed to offset all of its CO2 emissions, but it reiterated in its new roadmap that this was always a “short-term measure”. The company said it had managed to offset nearly 8.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions to date and confirmed it would continue to offset flights booked on behalf of its customers until the end of this year. But from 2023, it will switch to a voluntary compensation option for customers.

Greenpeace welcomed EasyJet’s decision to refuse compensation and called on other airlines to follow suit. With reference to the investigation Excavated and Guardian which questioned the real impact of forest protection schemes used by Mant airlines to offset their emissions, the campaign group reiterated its view that many offset projects justify claims of carbon neutrality. Instead, airlines should focus on effective measures to reduce emissions, including supporting demand-side management tools such as levies on frequent flyers and encouraging investment in new technologies, Greenpeace said.

“This is a sharp turnaround for easyJet and a major blow to the compensation industry,” Greenpeace UK chief scientist Doug Parr said. “In just a couple of years, EasyJet has gone from proudly boasting its ‘carbon neutral’ flights to completely rejecting offsets. Once the truth is revealed, offsets lose their cleaning magic and are revealed for what they really are – an alibi for allowing major carbon polluters to continue to pollute the environment. EasyJet’s net-zero plan is far from perfect, but at least it gets rid of the offset cheat. We urge other airlines to do the same.”

As pressure mounts on the government and the aviation industry as a whole to answer more questions about the sector’s decarbonisation plans, it will be interesting to see how other airlines look to build credibility with their net-zero plans.

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Course Correction: How the Aviation Industry Needs to Redirect Flight Paths to Net Zero

With legal action targeting the government’s Jet Zero strategy and new analysis showing the airline industry is off track to meet Paris Agreement targets, pressure is mounting on airlines to rethink their decarbonisation plans

Pressure continues on the aviation industry to strengthen its commitment to net zero, after new research showed the sector is still far off course if it wants to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, and campaigners launched fresh legal action against the government’s plans to decarbonization of the sector.

Aviation campaigners Leeds Bradford Airport Action Group (GALBA) today launched a campaign against the Government’s Jet Zero strategy to reduce aviation emissions, confirming they will take the Government to court.

The group accused the government of repeatedly ignoring advice from government climate change advisers to take action to curb demand for flights and presenting a strategy that is “illegitimate”.

Rather than curbing demand for flights, GALBA says the Jet Zero approach encourages “unstoppable aviation and airport growth” and expects new fuels and technologies to be developed to meet the industry’s zero-emissions targets by 2050. The campaign group called the strategy a “fantasy”, warning that experts warned the technologies would be difficult to develop and scale up in time to meet the milestone date.

In particular, the group highlighted how the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) by 2022 Progress report to Parliament criticized the government’s policy on aviation emissions, calling it a “very risky strategy” and stressing that the strategy should include measures to control the demand for flights. “This assessment of progress in the aviation sector shows that there are significant risks to the government’s path to net zero, particularly due to the heavy reliance on a technology approach without sufficient attempts to curb demand,” the CCC said.

GALBA is now trying to test its claims that the strategy breaches the UK’s Climate Change Act in court. The move follows a separate successful legal action against the government’s Net Zero strategy, which earlier this year led to the High Court ordering the government to provide more information by March next year about how its plan is designed to meet legally binding net zero targets. carbon.

“We simply cannot allow the aviation industry to pump out even more greenhouse gases and worsen the climate crisis,” campaigner Nick Hodgkinson said. “The government claims that Jet Zero is how the aviation industry will reach net zero emissions by 2050. But that’s a fantasy. In fact, Jet Zero is doing the opposite – it’s giving the green light to large-scale expansion of airports and emissions. The government is just crossing its fingers and hopefully there will be technological solutions at some point in the future.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) does not comment directly on legal proceedings, but confirmed it had received a letter from GALBA notifying it of its intention to sue. “We aim to decarbonise transport by not stopping people from doing things, but by helping people to do the same things in a different and more sustainable way,” said a DfT spokesperson. “Our analysis shows that the aviation sector can achieve Jet Zero without the need for direct government intervention to limit aviation growth, with net zero targets achieved by focusing on new fuels and technologies in a way that maximizes economic and social benefits rather than limit demand and activity.”

In addition to being on trial for the Jet Zero strategy, the government last week received further criticism for its aviation emissions plans from Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which published new analysis showing that government plans worldwide are currently in line with 4˚ . C warming, which means they are far from compatible with the Paris Agreement.

The UK has been named as one of the top four international aviation emitters, along with the EU, the US and China. Combined, CAT estimated that these countries are responsible for a quarter of CO2 emissions from international aviation.

CAT directly criticized the Jet Zero strategy, stating that “despite its name, [it] will not reduce emissions to zero” and added that this only applies to outbound flights. The analysis reflects GALBA and CCC’s concerns about Jet Zero’s reliance “almost entirely on offsetting schemes and carbon capture technologies that have not yet been developed”.

The report also highlights that Jet Zero plans to increase aviation demand by 70 percent by 2050, which the analysis suggests could increase emissions by 40 percent between 2019 and 2050.

However, increased pressure on the industry to build confidence in its decarbonisation plans appears to be resonating with some airlines. In a surprise move, EasyJet this week unveiled an updated 2050 net-zero plan that ditches the company’s support for carbon offsets and instead focuses on increased investment in carbon capture technologies and sustainable fuel alternatives.

In its new roadmap to Net Zero 2050, the airline announced that it has shifted its focus to investments in the use of greener aviation fuels, a new partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop a hydrogen combustion engine, and plans to develop and deploy carbon removal technologies.

The airline called its new strategy “the most ambitious zero-net airline roadmap to date” and acknowledged that the focus would be on the new technology, but only “when it becomes available”, adding that the necessary technological advances in zero-carbon technology would allow to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger by 78 percent by 2050, with the overall ambition to eventually achieve zero carbon emissions across its entire fleet.

However, EasyJet stressed the measures in its roadmap and the overall decarbonisation of the aviation industry “cannot and will not happen without government support”. The airline said it was working with the industry and a range of politicians to support and accelerate the changes that are needed in the wider aviation industry to accelerate the development of lower emission technologies.

It stressed that support for the development of zero-carbon technology should be at the forefront of the government’s agenda, echoing campaigners’ arguments that the development of the technology needed to meet Jet Zero targets must be accelerated.

EasyJet has called for a regulatory framework for the aviation industry that would reward and incentivize aircraft manufacturers to produce planes that can fly without carbon emissions, such as those that run on hydrogen. In addition, the company called on the government to recognize the importance of carbon removal technology to achieve net zero targets, suggesting that carbon removal credits should be allowed under the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

EasyJet has also announced a number of new initiatives of its own as part of the new strategy. The company said progress towards zero-carbon technology is being made thanks to its partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop new hydrogen combustion engine technology, which the airline says will be capable of powering “narrow-body” aircraft.

The airline also announced that it will invest about $21 billion in the coming years to renew its fleet by replacing older planes with younger, more fuel-efficient models, which it says are “crucial for decarbonisation”. It has already confirmed investment in 168 new aircraft models – the Airbus NEO – which EasyJet says can be 15 per cent more fuel efficient.

EasyJet’s roadmap also included short-term strategies such as operational improvements and fleet-wide efficiency improvements to optimize aircraft downsizing – one of the most fuel-intensive and emissions-generating elements of a flight.

In addition, the airline said it has already contracted all the SAF required to achieve the roadmap with its fuel partner Q8Aviation. The company said it will use SAF as needed until its fleet is converted to zero-emission aircraft, arguing that the fuel offers significant reductions in carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel-derived gas.

The company said it is now working with the Science Based Target (SBTi) initiative on its roadmap, and it will no longer offset emissions from its flights as SBTi standards require airlines to decarbonise within their operations.

EasyJet signed a three-year deal at the end of 2019 in which it agreed to offset all of its CO2 emissions, but it reiterated in its new roadmap that this was always a “short-term measure”. The company said it had managed to offset nearly 8.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions to date and confirmed it would continue to offset flights booked on behalf of its customers until the end of this year. But from 2023, it will switch to a voluntary compensation option for customers.

Greenpeace welcomed EasyJet’s decision to refuse compensation and called on other airlines to follow suit. With reference to the investigation Excavated and Guardian which questioned the real impact of forest protection schemes used by Mant airlines to offset their emissions, the campaign group reiterated its view that many offset projects justify claims of carbon neutrality. Instead, airlines should focus on effective measures to reduce emissions, including supporting demand-side management tools such as levies on frequent flyers and encouraging investment in new technologies, Greenpeace said.

“This is a sharp turnaround for easyJet and a major blow to the compensation industry,” Greenpeace UK chief scientist Doug Parr said. “In just a couple of years, EasyJet has gone from proudly boasting its ‘carbon neutral’ flights to completely rejecting offsets. Once the truth is revealed, offsets lose their cleaning magic and are revealed for what they really are – an alibi for allowing major carbon polluters to continue to pollute the environment. EasyJet’s net-zero plan is far from perfect, but at least it gets rid of the offset cheat. We urge other airlines to do the same.”

As pressure mounts on the government and the aviation industry as a whole to answer more questions about the sector’s decarbonisation plans, it will be interesting to see how other airlines look to build credibility with their net-zero plans.

Reported by Source link

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