London’s Heathrow airport

‘Denial within government over the ‘unpleasant truth’ of the need to curb demand’, summarises the Telegraph. Soundbites and targets are one thing, reality another – as usual where climate obsessives calling for ‘reduced demand’ are concerned.
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‘Jet Zero’ technology will not be ready in time to meet the Government’s climate targets, a leading aerospace engineer has admitted.

Emissions from international aviation were included in national targets for the first time this week as the Government pledged to reduce greenhouse gases by 78 per cent from 1990 levels by 2035.

Its strategy relies on the development of new technology, which it is supporting through its Jet Zero council, which has the ambitious target of creating the first zero-emissions commercial flight.

But Guy Gratton, who sits on one of the Jet Zero sub committees and leads cutting-edge research into low carbon aviation at Cranfield University told the Telegraph that “the unpleasant truth” was that this would not be enough and air travel would have to be limited to meet emissions targets.

“Technology can do a lot, but I don’t think it’s going to do everything,” Mr Gratton, an associate professor of aviation and the environment, said.

He warned there was “a degree of denial” about introducing the necessary curbs on demand “because it is so politically problematic, a position to take.”

“Nobody who takes national economies seriously, wants to see a reduction in air transport,” Mr Gratton said.

He added that there is a “real problem” in reconciling protecting the national economy and tackling the emissions from air travel.Zero carbon flight

Developments in fuel efficiency already save around 2 per cent per passenger mile annually, but these are outstripped by a growth in demand of more than 5 per cent a year, giving a roughly 50 per cent emissions increase by 2040.

International aviation accounts for around 7 per cent of the UK’s overall emissions.

The Government has yet to lay out the exact reductions it plans but does not have plans to cap demand, with Boris Johnson this week saying “humanity is going to need to fly”.

That is at odds with its advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, which recommends capping demand growth, from an expected 64 per cent rise to a 25 per cent rise by 2050.

Full article here.

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May 3, 2021