UK government urged to include aviation and shipping in climate target

Posted at November 7, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK government urged to include aviation and shipping in climate target

The influential parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECC) is urging the UK government not to exclude aviation and shipping from the country’s 2050 climate target.

In a letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Department for Transport (DfT), and the Treasury, Committee chair Tim Yeo says that leaving out emissions from aviation and shipping would “water down” the target, as set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act.

“The aim of the Climate Change Act was to demonstrate British leadership in the international effort to avoid a global temperature rise of 2°C, widely regarded as a dangerous potential tipping point for the climate,” says Yeo. “If aviation and shipping emissions are now excluded, the overall target reduction for all other sectors would need to be increased from 80% to around 85%.”

Aviation and shipping only contribute a small proportion of the UK’s total emissions, but are growing strongly. The sectors were initially left out of the Climate Change Act because of the complexity of accounting for their emissions.

However, the legislation also includes a clause requiring the government to consider whether emissions from the two sectors should be included by the end of the year.

Yeo warns that continuing to exclude aviation and shipping would send a poor message to the world about the government’s stance on climate change, as well as putting an extra burden on other sectors to deliver larger emission cuts.

He warns that failing to keep temperature rises to 2°C would risk floods, mass migration, economic disruption and chaos.

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Current emission reduction rates point to 6°C warming, warns PwC (5-Nov)
Estimates point to fall in EU’s 2011 greenhouse gas emissions (29-Oct)
EU launches plan to start monitoring shipping emissions (2-Oct)
UK starts issuing free EU ETS allowances to airlines (2-Mar)

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