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Bristol International Airport has welcomed comments from Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, made on the announcement of the Government’s low carbon transition plan last week.
The proposals set out how binding carbon reduction targets – an 18 per cent cut in 2008 emissions levels by 2020, and an 80 per cent reduction by 2050 – will be achieved through action across the power sector, homes and workplaces, farming, transport, and aviation. As part of this plan, a pioneering target to reduce emissions from UK aviation to below 2005 levels by 2050 has been set, challenging the industry to innovate and adopt better fuel efficiency.
Recognising the social benefits of air travel, Mr Miliband rejected calls for 80 per cent cuts across the board, acknowledging that airlines will be covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme from 2012. He commented that “I don’t want to have a situation where only rich people can afford to fly”.
The low carbon transition plan anticipates an active role for aviation in reducing the UK’s emissions, without recommending punitive measures which would limit access to air travel. This approach is in line with the work of Sustainable Aviation (a coalition of airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers working to address the future sustainability of the industry) which projects that the sector’s emissions can be brought back to 2002 levels by 2050 while still allowing the growing demand for air travel to be met.
Alan Davies, Planning and Environment Director at Bristol International Airport, said:
“Bristol International Airport’s development is consistent with these plans for transition to a low carbon economy, and needs to be seen in a global context.
“The right approach is to cap aviation’s emissions as part of an overarching scheme and drive innovation in the industry. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme will effectively cap aviation’s emissions at 2005 levels, with airlines only able to grow emissions by paying for reductions in other sectors of the economy.
“Technology will be vital and many of the advances will be made here in the South West by companies such as Airbus.
“We welcome the Government’s push for international action and we look forward to a global deal being formulated at Copenhagen this year.
“Returning flying to the preserve of a wealthy elite is not only a price few are prepared to pay, it is also unnecessary.”
Click here to view Ed Miliband’s comments in full.
Click here to view a copy of the Low Carbon Transition Plan.
Click here to download a copy of the Sustainable Aviation Progress Report.
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