A plan by the UK government to slash carbon emissions and cut pollution from the UK’s skies will see airlines introduce new flights to reduce emissions from their aircraft and boost air quality.
The move by the government is to see an increase in the number of flights in the coming years and is aimed at reducing emissions by 25 per cent by 2025.
The government’s Aviation and Climate Change (ACCC) Minister Matthew Hancock said that as a country that is responsible for some of the world’s highest CO2 emissions, we need to be making an aggressive and successful effort to reduce the levels of pollution in the air we breathe.
“The aviation industry has the capacity to make an enormous contribution to the world,” Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I think it is a matter of the leadership in this country, the leadership of the aviation industry, to make that contribution to a reduction in emissions, and I am sure that is the direction that the Government is going to be going in.”
The government’s plan includes increasing the number and range of flights that take place.
“This will enable us to reduce our emissions and improve our air quality and that is a hugely significant commitment to a lower emission future,” Hancock said.
“Our aircraft are among the world leaders in their use of CO2, but they also use some of our most polluted airways.”
Airbus will fly between the UK and France, with its routes linking the two countries.
In 2025, the government plans to increase the number by more than 1,000 per year.
The UK has the second highest amount of CO 2 emissions in the world, behind China.
Airbus has already been using an engine technology that is expected to reduce its emissions by an estimated 40 per cent from 2025 to 2050.
The UK government is aiming to reduce CO2 from the air that it breathes by 25 percent by 2025 and by 80 per cent between now and 2035.
In addition, the UK has pledged to introduce measures to cut carbon pollution from its energy sector, by increasing the amount of renewable energy and reducing its use of coal.
In 2020, the Government pledged to spend £30bn on a “carbon capture and storage” project in the UK, and Hancock said the scheme would be “significant and successful”.
“We are making substantial progress in this area and we have committed to the UK going a step further, and that’s a step beyond 2020,” he said.
Hancock said that a significant number of airlines were now considering the introduction of new flights in their fleet.
“It is the case that the number is increasing by the year and a half,” he told Today.
“And it is important that as many airlines as possible are taking the opportunity to make the investment necessary to take these steps.”
The UK’s air pollution problemA report released last year showed that the UK had the second worst air pollution in Europe.
The report found that nearly half of UK cities had concentrations of particulate matter exceeding EU safety standards, while the UK was the only country to not meet the WHO’s recommended minimum level of 30 parts per million.
“These findings are deeply concerning, but also provide a framework to understand why we are seeing significant increases in air pollution over the UK,” Hancock added.
“These figures should be a wake-up call for all of us to be working to make air pollution a priority.”
In 2017, the Air Quality Council of England (AQCO) said that UK air pollution levels had reached their highest level since records began in the 1960s.
“These figures are a stark reminder of the need for urgent action to reduce pollution levels and reduce the health risks,” said a spokesperson for the organisation.
“Despite this, the current situation is not sustainable, with air quality conditions continuing to deteriorate in some areas and health risks continuing to rise.”