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Carbon Dioxide: Aviation

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the proportion of carbon emissions in the UK which is due to aircraft taking off and landing at UK airports; and what his estimate is of the likely change in this proportion over the next (a) 10 and (b) 50 years. (127980)

Carbon dioxide emissions from UK domestic aviation (which includes emissions from the UK Crown Dependencies, and excludes emissions from the Overseas Territories) were 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2), and for international aviation were 35.0 MtCO2 in 2005. Greenhouse gas emissions from international flights do not currently count in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory because there is no internationally agreed way in which to allocate those emissions. UK CO2 emissions (excluding international aviation and shipping) were 554.2 MtCO2 in 2005.

Emissions from domestic aviation were around 0.4 per cent. of total UK CO2 emissions in 2005. If international aviation CO2 emissions are included, aviation contributed around 6.4 per cent. of total UK CO2 emissions in 2005. The proportion in 2030 and 2050 would be around 15 and 21 per cent. of UK CO2 emissions (including international aviation) respectively. These are based on the assumptions of continued strong growth in aviation using central projections in ‘Aviation and Global Warming’ (2004), and the assumption of attainment of the 60 per cent. CO2 emissions reduction target in the rest of the economy as outlined in the 2003 Energy White Paper.