UK Government

October 2021

'Jet Zero' branded as 'plane insanity' by the Ecologist

It’s not ‘Jet Zero.’ It’s not even net zero. It’s plane insanity - and we’re heading for a hard landing.

Ecologist 27 August 2021    Gareth Dale and Josh Moos
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What struck us first is the scope of the so-called consultation that informed the Jet Zero documents. It has centred on a wilfully naïve borrowing of promises from the aviation sector, in particular the industry organisation Sustainable Aviation, mediated through government-industry partnership bodies.

Largely frozen out are climate scientists and the environmental groups and NGOs that seek to protect the interests of Earth and its inhabitants. The government has even ignored a key recommendation of its own advisory body, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), that continued expansion of the aviation industry is, under all scenarios of technological advance, incompatible with its 2050 net zero target.

The aviation industry’s principal goal, its own continued growth, has been adopted by the government as its own. Aviation expansion is fundamental to Britain’s future, declared the Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, in the 2018 report on The Future of UK Aviation. Airport expansion, stated a follow-up report in 2020, is indispensable to the government’s agenda of “global connectivity.”

Read the article     part 1

The discussion is continued in Part 2  (31 August)
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If the habitability of this planet were the driving concern, Jet Zero would emphasise 2025 and 2030 targets, not 2050. It would ban private jets, press the MoD to shut down military aviation, remove the aviation fuel tax exception, ban aviation advertising, cancel airport expansion plans, and take immediate measures to reduce passenger numbers.

It would prioritise consultations with the under-25s, environmentalists, and scientists. And it would take seriously the Absolute Zero report from the FIRES research group. If the British economy is to hit net zero by mid-century, the FIRES engineers have shown, the aviation industry “faces rapid contraction”, with “all aviation activity phased out within 30 years,” all British airports except Glasgow and Heathrow shut down by 2030, and Heathrow too by 2050 - and only then, if the technologies and sufficient renewable electricity come onstream, could some reopening begin. Drastic and urgent action, it recognises, is required if the aviation industry is to reach net zero in the required timeframe. We cannot negotiate with the planet, or hoodwink it with offsets.


September 2021

Jet zero: UK Government strategy for net zero aviation

NOTE  that the entire policy is based on the idea that there is no need for the government to require or encourage any reduction in flying.

Our vision is for the aviation sector to reach net zero aviation, or jet zero, by 2050.

A consultation ran from  14 July  to  8 September 2021

The consultation set out our proposed approach and principles to reach net zero aviation by 2050.

Our ambition is to:

  • decarbonise aviation in a way that preserves the benefits of air travel
  • maximise the opportunities that decarbonisation can bring

We are proposing a suite of policies to support industry to reduce and, where possible, eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. These policies span 5 different measures that aim to:

  • improve the efficiency of our aviation system
  • accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels
  • support the development of zero emission flight
  • ensure we use markets to drive down emissions in the most cost-effective way
  • influence the behaviour of consumers

The consultation will inform the final jet zero strategy.

Read the consultation and policy document



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