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Sustainable Aviation unveils path to lower CO2 emissions in UK
Sustainable Aviation (SA) has published its first report mapping the industry’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 2050. The report concludes that CO2 from all UK civil aviation can return to 2000 levels by 2050, after having reached a peak around 2020, against a background of threefold growth in passenger numbers.
The assessment takes into account the UK air transport market maturity and efficiencies that are expected from new airframe and engine technology, cutting edge air traffic management and operations, as well as the development of sustainable fuels. In making this assessment, no allowance is made for the additional contribution to CO2 reductions that will be achieved through airlines’ participation in international emissions cap and trade schemes(for example, the Euroopean Union's Emissions Trading Scheme which aviation is due to join in 2012), the details of which have yet to be fully defined.
SA's report highlights that:
• Improvements in current airframe and engine design plus new technologies such as blended wing-bodies and open rotor engines are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 62% compared with a ‘constant technology’ baseline.
• A further 10% reduction is envisaged from improved air traffic management and operations that will be delivered by 2020.
• Lower carbon alternative fuels are expected to provide a further 10% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2030, following a period of increasing deployment from 2020.
• Given these initiatives, overall absolute levels of CO2 from UK aviation are expected to be brought back down to 2000 levels by 2050.
“This report demonstrates how aviation in the UK can be sustainable environmentally as well as economically,” said Ian Godden, chief executive of the Society of British Aerospace Companies. “By 2050 demand for air travel in the UK will have grown considerably but, through a combination of measures, it is projected that CO2 emissions will have returned to the same level as in 2000. The UK industry - airlines, manufacturers, airports and air traffic management - have all come together to present innovative solutions that will ensure that this growth in aviation in future can be delivered without a long term rise in carbon dioxide emissions.
“This report demonstrates how new technology, more efficient operations and an increasing contribution from sustainable non-fossil fuels can ensure that the industry’s proud track record on fuel efficiency is maintained and extended to meet the new low-carbon challenges of the 21st century,” added Godden.
Danny Bernstein, chairman of the Sustainable Aviation initiative and of Monarch Airlines, commented, “Sustainable Aviation was the first alliance of its kind anywhere in the world when it was established in 2005. Bringing together airlines, manufacturers, air traffic management and airport operators it has continued its groundbreaking work with this report. Flying contributes so much to the UK economy and quality of life through business, family and tourist travel. The industry has now demonstrated how it can deliver these benefits to the nation whilst also meeting the demand for lower-carbon solutions with which to do so.”
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