NGOs call for inclusion of aviation and shipping in UK carbon budgets

Published on Monday, 17 December 2012 12:32
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

NGOs today called on ministers to accept the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to include emissions from international aviation and shipping (IA&S) in the carbon budgets required under the UK's Climate Change Act.

The groups said that the decision, which the Government must take by the end of the year, was central to the integrity of the Act, which says that all sectors of the economy should contribute towards a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050.

Jean Leston, senior transport policy advisor at WWF-UK, said: "This year the Government's commitment on environmental issues has been seriously questioned. This opportunity to take the advice of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in UK carbon budgets gives an opportunity for the Prime Minister to prove, as he said recently, that the Government has a 'very progressive set of green policies'.

"A delay, or worse rejection, of the CCC's advice would undermine the integrity of the UK Climate Change Act and would be the first time any Government has rejected the CCC's advice. As such, it's a serious test of the Government's commitment to being the greenest ever."

Cait Hewitt, Aviation Environment Federation deputy director, said: "The Climate Change Act is a world-leading legal commitment by the UK to cutting emissions by 80% emissions by 2050; all major economies have signed up to similar goals. But for that 80% target to deliver its climate objective, it must cover all sectors of the economy. The Government should clarify how international aviation and shipping emissions will be accounted for by formally including them in carbon budgets."

Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins said: "Aviation and shipping emissions are a significant contributor to climate change - our share of this pollution must be included in UK carbon budgets. Excluding planes and ships from UK climate targets would be like going on a calorie-controlled diet, but not counting cakes."

AirportWatch chair John Stewart said: "Ministers do need to act.  There is no case for aviation, one of the dirtiest industries on the planet, to get special treatment."

Source: ©WWF

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