UK Government Uncertainty over Whether to Include International Aviation Emissions in Carbon Budgets
(GreenAirOnline) With emissions from aviation and shipping likely to make up a quarter of the total UK output by 2050, it would be impossible to achieve national climate objectives without including the two sectors in reduction targets, the head of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) told a House of Commons select committee last week. Under the UK’s flagship Climate Change Act 2008, the UK government is required to tell Parliament before the end of the year whether it intends to include the sectors’ international emissions in its legally binding carbon budgets but it is yet to reach a conclusion. Representatives from the UK aviation and shipping industries told MPs they were comfortable with the inclusion but a government minister and officials said the issue was complex and were equivocal about what decision would be made, which has left environmental groups unhappy. A possible scenario could be for the government to accept inclusion of international aviation emissions in principle but wait on developments with the EU ETS and at ICAO.
… Representing the UK aviation industry at the hearing, Dr Andy Jefferson, Programme Director with the Sustainable Aviation group said he supported the inclusion of international aviation emissions in UK carbon budgets, based on the UK share of the EU ETS cap as long as delivery was met through internationally agreed carbon trading.
He said an appropriately implemented EU ETS was a good starting point towards a global carbon trading solution encompassing all of aviation that ensured a level playing field for all participants. “We do not support unilateral UK targets, however, as we believe this will lead to carbon leakage, market distortion and the loss of economic benefit to our international competitors,” he added.
Putting forward an international perspective, Andrew Herdman, representing the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and who is also Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, warned the committee that the UK aviation sector would pay a high price through global uncompetitiveness if the UK government and the EU pursued unilateral policies. He said it was a “flimsy bridge” for UK policy-makers to base their targets on the EU ETS. READ MORE