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Aviation to cut carbon emissions to 2005 levels by 2050

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) announces more drastic cuts in UK aviation carbon emissions, reports Envido.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has argued that to achieve a global reduction of 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 the UK may be forced to cut carbon emissions by 90% by 2050 to allow the aviation industry to adopt low-carbon technologies. Asking consumers to fly less, however, is left out of the list for considering it an unrealistic carbon cutting goal.

A full report is due to be published on 8 December to coincide with the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen and will set out how the aviation industry can meet the 2050 carbon reduction targets to reduce gross aviation carbon emissions to 2005 levels. All carbon emissions from aviation should be capped or included in a national carbon emission reduction target.

Given that the aviation industry, especially in developing nations, is likely to grow in future, the UK and other developed countries will have to cut total carbon emissions by more than previously thought to compensate. The CCC said, "An interim period where rising aviation carbon emissions are offset by carbon emissions reductions in other sectors would be feasible. Over time, however, carbon emissions growth from aviation will have to be constrained."

Cutting carbon emissions- requirements for the aviation industry

Although aviation was not included in the targets agreed at Kyoto, airlines will be forced to sign up to the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2011 and could face a bill of more than €1bn (£607m) as a result, according to research released in July.

CCC stated that a new and ambitious policy on aviation is required, otherwise global aviation carbon emissions could account for 15 to 20 % of all carbon emissions produced in 2050. Despite claims that airlines would pass on the costs of complying with the EU ETS to passengers, that the CCC said the impact on customers would be negligible for some time to come.

Ifti Akbar, from Envido, affirmed “the CCC is right to call for the aviation industry to play its part in tackling global warming. Significant reductions in carbon emissions from aviation must be sought as part of a global climate agreement in Copenhagen."

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