UK to include aviation in carbon emissions targets

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The UK government said on 20-Apr-2021 that it would become the first major nation to include international aviation in its carbon dioxide emissions targets. This follows a recommendation from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which advises the UK on emissions targets.

In 2019 the UK became one of the first leading countries to commit to a 2050 target of net zero CO2 emissions for the wider economy, but that did not include aviation. Although UK aviation (and much of European aviation) already targets net zero by 2050, this now looks set to be formalised by government commitment.

In addition, it increases the focus on other CCC recommendations, such as the need to constrain aviation demand growth. Suggested measures include taxes, levies and carbon pricing, and ensuring no net increase in UK airport capacity – all of which are unlikely to be welcomed by the industry.

Moreover, the UK's action may prompt the EU – and other international partners – to follow suit.

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