Achieving net zero: aviation

The aviation sector contributes significantly to the UK economy (over £22 billion in 2015) and is the world’s third largest aviation network. In 2014 almost half of adults in the UK flew abroad at least once, and in 2018 more Britons took international flights than any other nationality.

The aviation sector is responsible for 7% of the UK’s carbon emissions when international flights are included (36.5 million tonnes CO₂ equivalent in 2017). Aviation emissions more than doubled between 1990 and 2017 due to growing passenger demand, particularly for international flights which account for around 95% of emissions. However, emissions peaked in 2005 and have remained lower than 2005 levels despite a 25% growth in passenger numbers.

This roundtable explores proposed strategies to reduce the net carbon emissions of the aviation sector, which include reducing fuel demand and decarbonising fuels.

Andrew Selous MP

Prof David Lee, Manchester Metropolitan University
Richard Taylor, Committee on Climate Change