Government face flak for aviation emissions ‘dithering’

The Department for Transport (DfT) has taken the flak from environmental campaigners over its “astonishing” response to the Committee on Climate Change’s report on aviation. In the report, DfT confirms […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Department for Transport (DfT) has taken the flak from environmental campaigners over its “astonishing” response to the Committee on Climate Change’s report on aviation.

In the report, DfT confirms its plan to introduce aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) from 2012. However, the Department said that it still needs to choose whether to adopt the 2050 target for CO2 emissions first mooted by the last Labour government. Friends of the Earth (FOE) criticised the Coalition for “dithering” over this decision.

Andy Atkins, Executive Director at FOE said: “The Coalition’s failure to endorse the previous government’s pledge to curb future emissions from flying is astonishing – hardly the actions of the greenest government ever. Ministers must stop dithering, endorse the 2050 target and publish a new aviation policy which rules out all further airport expansion.”

Department for Transport brushed off the complaint. A spokesperson said: “We have published revised UK aviation forecasts to provide an assessment of how emissions in the air transport sector could grow in the absence of further action. We are committed to developing a new policy framework for aviation which supports economic growth while also reflecting the environmental impacts of flying.”

Sustainable Aviation, which represents nearly 90% of UK airlines, airports and air navigation service providers, has previously said the industry is confident it can cut emissions to 2000 levels by 2050 without harming the industry’s growth.