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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Draft of Parlimentary Question to Gillian Merron, submitted through David Drew MP


Further to our meeting this week, as requested I enclose the parliamentary question for Gillian Merron in response to her letter:-

In the government’s The Future of Air Transport Progress Report, published December 2006, it states that the aviation industry is adopting “a target to improve fuel efficiency by 50 per cent per seat kilometre in new aircraft in 2020 compared to 2000.” This target comes from Sustainable Aviation Report. However, this same report also shows that actual improvements between 2000 and 2005 were only 2.5% when based on litres/revenue tonne km. This is clearly far below the targets that the aviation strategy is based upon.

This poor performance is being aggravated by changes in the market. Both Boeing and Airbus are gearing up their production lines to build long range aircraft to cope with the expected surge in international aviation. This is reflected in the major orders that both manufactures have announced within recent weeks for long range aircraft. There is also the introduction of new transatlantic business class services which are extremely carbon intensive per passenger.

Given these market changes, the fuel use per passenger will increase which will inflate further the overall emissions and offset any efficiency improvements.

The government’s progress report also states, “We continue to pursue the inclusion of aviation emissions in the European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS) as soon as practicable, and to do so for all flights departing from EU airports, whatever their destination.”

Can the minister for aviation provide data to show the actual trend in fuel use per passenger? Can the minister for aviation also update on what progress has actually been achieved in including aviation into the ETS and details of how much carbon emission reduction will actually be delivered? Given that the Queens speech of 2006 underlines the government’s determination to tackle climate change, will the conclusions of the aviation bill and the progress report be reconsidered if the fuel use per passenger does not indicate that adequate improvements can be made and ETS does not offer adequate opportunities to offset the increased emissions?

Extract from the Sustainable Aviation report
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