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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demand for the resignation of the directors of Flying Matters

Dear Michelle,

 As regards the statements on your web site, namely:
  • The commitment to improve fuel efficiency of new planes by 50% by 2020
  • The commitment to get emissions down to 2000 levels by 2050 despite a trebling of passenger numbers
There is no evidence on the web sites that you have provided to support these claims. There no “road map” to which you refer, nor can you supply one. There is not even a basic analysis anywhere which quantifies these claims and the impact they have on the industry.

It is a fundamental breach your responsibility as the main industry lobbyists and the organization publishing these. You are clearly not prepared to take any responsibility for these figures and instead point the finger to Sustainable Aviation who also can not justify them.
It is absolutely not enough to say that you are “very comfortable” with these figures when you have not even enquired where they come from or done even the most basic checks.

As a result of your lobbying, many important decisions have been made in support of the expansion of the aviation industry on the erroneous belief that their emissions will significantly reduce due to new technological innovation. These decisions include airport expansions and the delay of the cap on emission in the ETS to 2020. These have devastating effects on local communities and the global environment.

It is difficult to think of a more serous or reprehensible fraud to have committed when the science on climate change is now so serious and so many other people in the world are either making sacrifices to cut their emissions, or having their lives ruined as a consequence of climate change.

As a result, we demand by 9:00am Thursday 18th November either of the following:
  • Definitive plans to show how your targets will be met.
or

  • A full retraction of your claims with a public apology.
If you fail to provide this, then we expect you and Brian Wilson to resign.

If the above is not complied with, we will refer the matter to the Serious Fraud Office and the Government’s Climate Change Committee.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Lister



--- On Wed, 10/11/10, Kevin Lister wrote:

From: Kevin Lister
Subject: Re: Aviation improvements to meet climate change, attn Rt Hon Brian Wilson

To: "Michelle Di Leo"

Cc: "somervillehugh" , michelle.dileo@flyingmatters.co.uk

Date: Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 10:58

Dear Michelle,

Thankyou for you prompt response and directions to the ACRE web site,

I have read through all the ACRE documents and unfortunately still can not find anything that supports Brian's claim on your web site about committing to improving fuel efficiency of new planes by 50% by 2020. I am sure that I am missing something, because I can not believe that a professional organisation would publish such a claim without proper verification and as you say, you are comfortable with reference to that programme.

As regards the second claim, I have read through the sustainable aviation papers and still can not find anything that supports the idea that aviation emissions for all planes can be reduced to 22% of current levels by 2050. Like you, I am absolutely confident that the 22% figure is correct, as it is very basic mathematics (GCSE level and AS level). However, I can find no reference to this in any of the documents nor a road map for how this is to be achieved.

I appreciate that many months of work has gone into producing these targets, so there must be some clear road map somewhere. If you could send it too me, it would be excellent as I was hoping to set the excercise to my classes of optimising the various proposals to maximise aviation efficiency before unrecoverable climate change starts which is due around 2030. The work of this group would be a good template and without your road map, my students might get worried that climate change could be really bad.

Kevin Lister



--- On Wed, 10/11/10, Michelle Di Leo wrote:



From: Michelle Di Leo

Subject: Re: Aviation improvements to meet climate change, attn Rt Hon Brian Wilson

To: "Kevin Lister"

Cc: "somervillehugh" , michelle.dileo@flyingmatters.co.uk

Date: Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 6:27

Dear Kevin

The statement about the commitment to improving fuel efficiency of new aircraft by 2020 is a European commitment made by ACARE (http://www.acare4europe.com/html/introduction.asp) several years ago. You are very welcome to contact them with any queries relating to how that has been set out and why they believe that is achievable. I am very comfortable with our reference to that programme.

The second statement refers to the figures set out in the Sustainable Aviation roadmap to which Hugh has already directed you. The figures show the relative contributions of the various ways (airframe, engines, biofuels etc) of reducing carbon emissions of aircraft which are projected to 2050 against a business as usual scenario. This scenario has as a baseline the current predicted growth in passenger numbers by 2050 (which is a trebling of current figures). The roadmap was produced after months of work and all members of Sustainable Aviation are signed up to it, including Rolls-Royce and Airbus. Again, I am very comfortable with our reference to that work.

Kind regards

Michelle

Michelle Di Leo
Director
FlyingMatters
20 Garrick Street
London

WC2E 9BT

Tel: 020 3170 8294 Mobile 07734 101086

www.flyingmatters.org.uk

www.twitter.com/flyingmatters

On 9 November 2010 23:28, Kevin Lister wrote:

Dear Hugh,

Thank you for picking up on this conversation so proactively and directing me to your site. I have read through all the documents. Unfortunately I can not find any that support the claims on the Flying Matters web site and which I could confidently put forward to my students. The claims on the Flying Matters web site that I want to discuss are:

• The commitment to improve fuel efficiency of new planes by 50% by 2020
• The committment to get emissions down to 2000 levels by 2050 despite a trebling of passenger numbers

Is it possible that Brian Wilson made a mistake and the justification is actually not there? As regards your reference to the SA being focused on UK aviation, does that imply that Brian Wilson's claims are for the UK emissions only or for international emissions as well.

Many thanks for your help and I look forward to your reply.

Kevin

--- On Tue, 9/11/10, somervillehugh wrote:
From: somervillehugh

Subject: Re: Aviation improvements to meet climate change, attn Rt Hon Brian Wilson

To: "Kevin Lister"

Cc: michelle.dileo@flyingmatters.co.uk

Date: Tuesday, 9 November, 2010, 18:23

Kevin,

Forgive me for picking up on this. For Sustainable Aviation try www.sustainableaviation.co.uk and then key documents and you should find the documents, and more, that Michelle has referred you to. One key point is that at SA we work primarily on UK aviation which covers all flights departing from UK airports. For a more global view you should refer to IATA, which reflects the majority of the world airlines' views and ICAO, which is the relevant UN organisation for global aviation environmental issues.

Please note that the Sustainable Aviation web-site is in process of being updated. SA is a coalition of airports, airlines, aerospace manufacturers and NATS, in the UK.

I hope this helps.

Hugh Somerville

Programme Director
Sustainable Aviation


In a message dated 09/11/2010 GMT Standard Time, kevin.lister@btopenworld.com writes:

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for your prompt reply and the link to the sustainable aviation web site.

I have spent the entire afternoon looking through their web site and I can not find the "road map" that you refer to, am I still missing something?

Also to add to my confusion, I notice that on your web site, you say "committed to improve fuel efficiency of new aircraft by 50% by 2020." This is far too small to met the target that Brian quoted as fuel consumption has to reduce by 77.5% for all planes, not just new ones. Even more confusingly, your headline ignores the total fuel consumption of the industry which as you know has continued to rise ever since the Wright Brothers flew their first plane.

It would also be nice to know how likely you consider it that all new aircraft will have see a 50% efficiency improvement by 2020.

As my students are really concerned about climate change and still looking for a balanced debate can you clarify which of the above I statements I should be passing on to them?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Kevin


--- On Tue, 9/11/10, Michelle Di Leo wrote:



From: Michelle Di Leo

Subject: Re: Aviation improvements to meet climate change, attn Rt Hon Brian Wilson

To: "Kevin Lister"

Cc: "Hugh Somerville"

Date: Tuesday, 9 November, 2010, 13:10

Dear Mr Lister

Many thanks for your email. The comments on our website represent the commitments made by the Sustainable Aviation initiative and are contained within the road map which they have published on their website (www.sustainableaviation.co.uk).

If you have any further queries please direct them to Sustainable Aviation via Hugh Somerville (who I have copied into this email).
Kind regards

Michelle

Michelle Di Leo
Director
FlyingMatters
20 Garrick Street
London
WC2E 9BT

Tel: 020 3170 8294 Mobile 07734 101086

www.flyingmatters.org.uk
www.twitter.com/flyingmatters
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