Professional Transport Services

Environmental Audit Committee launches new inquiry on aviation and shipping’s voyage to net zero

29 Jul 2021


The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced that it is to look at how the aviation and shipping sectors can best achieve net zero emissions.


Shipping and aviation together make up 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonising these sectors will play a key role in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.


Aviation is set to be the largest emitting sector by 2050 on current trends, while the International Maritime Organization (IMO) warns that carbon emissions from shipping – responsible for transporting 80% of the world’s trade – are projected to increase by up to 50% above 2018 levels by 2050 if no action is taken. 


During the inquiry, the EAC will be considering a number of areas which could play a significant role in reducing emissions for the aviation and shipping sectors. These include: the commercialisation of new technologies and low, transitioning to zero, carbon fuels; reductions in demand; and options to drive international action to lower global emissions from these sectors.


In its recently published Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Jet Zero consultation, the UK Government has outlined its ambition for UK domestic aviation to be net zero by 2040 by driving innovation and early technology adoption, with a target to reach net zero aviation emissions by 2050 and a commitment to maritime net zero as soon as possible.


Meanwhile, the European Commission has also recently unveiled its ‘Fit for 55’ plan which will tax  aviation and maritime fuels for the first time while setting targets on shipping emissions and sustainable aviation fuels. This is in addition to the expanded Emissions Trading Scheme covering shipping within the EU from 2023.


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