Skip to main content

Carbon Emissions: Aviation

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the cumulative effect on UK carbon dioxide emissions of returning to 2005 levels of emissions from aviation between now and 2050, as a proportion of total UK carbon dioxide emissions. (250713)

The Government have asked the Committee on Climate Change to advise by December 2009 on the basis for measurement of the Government’s target to reduce UK aviation emissions in 2050 below 2005 levels.

Once aviation joins the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 2012, carbon dioxide emissions from all flights departing and arriving at airports in the EU will be capped at 97 per cent. of average 2004-06 levels, with the cap tightening to 95 per cent. of average 2004-06 levels from 2013 onwards. Any aviation emissions above this cap will need to be matched by airlines securing reductions from other sectors within the EU ETS. 95 per cent. of UK aviation emissions in the 2004-06 period is estimated to be 35.6 million tonnes.

At present there is no clear relationship between international aviation emissions and the UK’s greenhouse gas inventory, as there is no internationally-agreed methodology for assigning emissions from international aviation to individual countries. The UK continues to press internationally for agreement on measures to address aviation emissions.