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4th Feb 2020, 02:02
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UK aviation industry vows net zero carbon by 2050

1 hour ago

The UK's aviation industry is promising to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.Cleaner engines, new fuels and planting trees will all help, according to the industry group Sustainable Aviation.

The plan will mean airlines can cut pollution even as passenger numbers grow by an expected 70%, it said.

But campaigners say the only way to cut airline pollution is by reducing air travel and cancelling new airports and runways.

"We need to restrict flying," said Muna Suleiman, from Friends of the Earth. "We can't have airport expansion at the same time."

An economy-class return flight from London to New York emits an estimated 0.67 tonnes of CO2 per passenger, according to the calculator from the UN's civil aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

That is equivalent to 11% of the average annual emissions for someone in the UK or about the same as all of those caused by someone living in Ghana over a year.

US firm Wright Electric said last week it has started electric engine development for a 186-seater plane, and hopes to begin test flights in 2023.

British Airways is investing in a project to make fuel from rubbish.'Difficult sector'"We are going to have to do this through many projects," Alex Cruz, chief executive of British Airways, told the BBC.

"Biofuels will give us a greener alternative and we are attracted by that," he said, while conceding that they will still produce carbon dioxide and that they are expensive today.