GREENAIR NEWSLETTER 19 MAY 2020
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Aviation emissions the most impacted globally during the Covid-19 lockdown, shows analysis of six economic sectors
Tue 19 May 2020 – In the first peer-reviewed study of the drop in global carbon emissions during the Covid-19 lockdown, an analysis of six economic sectors during the period January to April shows aviation was the most impacted by the confinement. While responsible for 3 per cent of global emissions, it accounted for a 10 per cent decrease in the global total during the first four months of the pandemic. The study, which has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that daily global emissions across sectors during the peak of the confinement measures in early April decreased by 17 per cent – or 17 million tonnes (MtCO2) – compared to mean daily levels in 2019, dropping to levels last observed in 2006. Depending on the level of remaining worldwide restrictions and their duration, the researchers from the universities of East Anglia (UK) and Stanford (US) estimate a fall of 4 to 7 per cent in overall 2020 global emissions, the rate of decline needed annually to limit climate change close to a 1.5C warming, they point out.
The estimated total change in emissions from the pandemic amounts to 1,048 MtCO2 until the end of April, equivalent to a 8.6% decrease over January to April 2019. Carbon emissions from the aviation sector declined by around 60% during the period, the equivalent of approximately 1.7 MtCO2 per day.
The estimated decrease in daily fossil CO2 emissions from the severe and forced confinement of world populations at its peak are extreme and probably unseen before, says the paper.
“Population confinement has led to drastic changes in energy use and CO2 emissions. These extreme decreases are likely to be temporary though, as they do not reflect structural changes in the economic, transport, or energy systems,” commented Prof Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia, who led the analysis.
“The extent to which world leaders consider climate change when planning their economic responses post COVID-19 will influence the global CO2 emissions paths for decades to come.
“Opportunities exist to make real, durable, changes and be more resilient to future crises by implementing economic stimulus packages that also help meet climate targets, especially for mobility, which accounts for half the decrease in emissions during confinement.”
The authors warn that the rush for economic stimulus packages must not make future emissions higher by delaying new green deals or weakening emissions standards. They recommend reducing demand for aviation by supporting more local tourism and video conferencing for businesses.
Co-author Prof Rob Jackson of Stanford University and Chair of the Global Carbon Project added: “The drop in emissions is substantial but illustrates the challenge of reaching our Paris climate commitments. We need systemic change through green energy and electric cars, not temporary reductions from enforced behaviour.”
Commenting on the study, Cait Hewitt of the Aviation Environment Federation said: “With many of us having realised the benefits of video calls for keeping contact with work colleagues, demand for business flights is likely to remain low even as flights resume, and minimising travel by holidays close to home will feel like the right thing to do for many of us for some time to come. This is a great time for policymakers to focus on boosting local tourism and making sure polluting sectors such as aviation help pay for the green investments that are needed to build towards a clean and healthy future.”
Added Dan Rutherford, Aviation Director at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT): “The study shows that airline emissions are particularly sensitive to behavioural change. Policies to curb frequent flying can be a win/win for public health and the environment while still allowing flights when we need them.”
The research received support from the Royal Society, the European Commission projects 4C, VERIFY and CHE, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Australian National Environmental Science Program.
ASTM approves pathway for production of microalgae-based sustainable aviation fuel developed by Japan’s IHI
Mon 18 May 2020 – Fuel standards organisation ASTM International has approved the seventh technology pathway for the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Annex A7 to ASTM’s SAF specification D7566 establishes approval for a type of synthesised paraffinic kerosene derived from hydroprocessed hydrocarbons, esters and fatty acids. The standard provides that HC-HEFA-SPK fuel, which has been developed by Japan’s IHI Corporation, may be blended at up to 10% by volume with conventional fuel. The fuel pathway is the first to receive expedited review under ASTM’s fast-track review process. Meanwhile, sustainability standards body RSB has submitted to ICAO an application to be recognised as a sustainability certification scheme under the CORSIA global carbon scheme for international aviation.
Commenting on the new ASTM standard, Nancy Young, Airlines for America (A4A) VP Environmental Affairs, said: “The approval of this new pathway provides yet another avenue for the production of SAF. The more pathways there are, the more SAF that can be produced and ultimately provided to airlines for use in our aircraft.”
The new annex to D7566 was approved and published by ASTM with support from the Commercial Aviation Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), which A4A co-founded in 2006. The review benefitted from a special clearinghouse established by the FAA to help guide SAF producers through the rigorous assessment and approval process.
“A4A commends ASTM International, FAA, the airframe and engine manufacturers, the US military, jet fuel producers and our entire CAAFI team for completing the review and approval of this new SAF pathway under rigorous expedited protocols,” said Young. “Advancing the commercialisation and deployment of SAF will help the aviation industry meet its emissions reduction goals, while diversifying fuel supply and enhancing energy security.”
IHI Group has been developing a process to produce jet fuel from microalgae in partnership with the Japanese government agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Kobe University. The project started with testing of outdoor cultivation of algae in Kagoshima Prefecture. A 10,000 square metre pilot scale test facility is now in operation in Thailand’s Saraburi Province at a site owned by Siam Cement Group. The strain of algae being cultivated is the Botryococcus braunii, which is reported to have an exceptionally high growth rate and high hydrocarbon oil content.
The climate of Thailand has been found to be perfectly suited for the culturing of algae, with its long hours of sunlight and relatively even temperatures between day and night. If production is scaled up at sites in industry-intensive parts of Thailand, the algae could use the CO2 emitted from factories for their photosynthesis.
IHI also has an ongoing project with Showa Shell Sekiyu to identify supply and integration issues of microalgae-derived SAF with petroleum based jet fuel.
The partners had hoped to use the SAF blended fuel in test flights during the now postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer, although commercialisation of the fuel is believed to be some way off.
Meanwhile, RSB said the application for recognition under CORSIA was a big step in the process to adapt its main global sustainability standard to the scheme’s mechanism. Its submission, which includes 10 other adapted procedure and standard documents, describes how alternative aviation fuel producers and supply chains can comply with both RSB and CORSIA.
“As the industry looks towards a green recovery from the global Covid-19 crisis, a robust and credible sustainability standard will be key to guide investment and strategy,” said RSB. “Our approach enables committed airlines to go above and beyond the CORSIA requirements to create genuine positive impacts and ensure that the development of alternative fuels does not lead to unintended consequences for people and planet.”
Airlines unlikely to have any CORSIA offsetting obligations for at least three years if baseline rule changed, finds EDF analysis
Fri 15 May 2020 – Under most post-Covid recovery scenarios for the airline industry, it is unlikely airlines will have any obligations to purchase and surrender emissions units for at least the duration of CORSIA’s three-year pilot phase starting next January if a rule change to the scheme’s baseline is made, finds an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Aeroplane operators covered by CORSIA will be required to offset emissions above a baseline calculated on the average emissions from international flights for 2019 and 2020. However, the dramatic fall in global air traffic expected this year will significantly lower the baseline and result in a much higher offsetting obligation over CORSIA’s 15-year duration, says IATA. It is calling on the ICAO Council at its session next month to change the rule so that only 2019 emissions are used as the baseline. EDF argues that such a decision should wait until the next Assembly in 2022.
For the analysis, EDF extrapolated ICAO data to estimate global emissions from international aviation in 2019 were around 555 million tonnes of CO2. Participation during the voluntary pilot phase (2021-23) and phase 1 (2024-26) will cover roughly 60% of sectoral emissions above 2020 levels, it estimates, rising to around 80% over the scheme’s full lifetime (2021-35). Again using the most recent ICAO trends forecast, EDF has calculated that a scenario with an expected pre-Covid 2019-20 baseline would have resulted in a requirement for 78 million tonnes of CO2 to be offset during the pilot phase and 2,360 million tonnes over the full lifetime.
EDF Lead Senior Economist Pedro Piris-Cabezas has modelled five possible scenarios for the airline industry’s post-Covid recovery based on three parameters: how deep the emissions fall in 2020 (high, severe and extreme impact), how long it takes for the industry to rebound and the level of the recovery growth rate.
The five scenarios cover:
- A V-shaped recovery in which emissions rebound fully by 2021 and a return to a business-as-usual trajectory;
- A modified V-shape in which emissions rebound to 2013, rather than 2019, levels in 2021 and subsequent dampened year-on-year long-term growth;
- A U-shaped recovery in which emissions rebound slowly to 2019 levels in 2024 followed by dampened long-term growth;
- An L-shaped situation where emissions fall and do not rebound, levelling off with minimal growth between 2021 and 2035; and
- An uptick recovery in which emissions rise quickly from 2021 and overshoot pre-Covid predictions.
Another factor modelled is the impact of a choice States can make in calculating their operators’ offsetting requirements during the pilot phase, which EDF calls the Pilot Phase Flexibility Mechanism (PPFM).
In a scenario 1 (S1) V-shaped recovery and with the 2019-2020 baseline still in place, the offsetting requirement, or demand, ranges from 158 MtCO2 to 437 MtCO2 for the pilot phase, compared with the 78 MtCO2 pre-Covid forecast. However, employing the PPFM can reduce the offset obligation for airlines to 123-157 MtCO2. If there was a full recovery by 2021, offset demand would likely increase by 15% to 92 MtCO2 with a 2019-only baseline.
In the second scenario (S2) the offset obligation would vanish until 2024 with a 2019-only baseline. The U-shaped recovery (S3), which many are now seeing as the most likely outcome, would see the pilot phase offset obligation greatly reduced, even with the 2019-20 baseline being kept. If the baseline was changed to 2019 only, the obligation would disappear until 2025 or 2026, depending on the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
In the unlikely event the recovery in 2021 outstrips pre-Covid projections (S5), the offset obligation would see a big increase on the pre-Covid forecast of 78 MtCO2 during the pilot phase with a 2019-20 baseline. A 2019-only baseline would dampen the increase to 139 MtCO2.
EDF believes that with a 2019-20 baseline, the supply of offsets will be sufficient for the pilot phase under all scenarios.
“We conclude from the analysis that changing the baseline to 2019 would cause the offset obligations in the pilot phase to vanish in most scenarios,” EDF International Counsel Annie Petsonk told reporters on Wednesday. “The supply of offsets already approved by the ICAO Council is ample and the use of the PPFM, should a country decide to use it, would help modulate airlines’ need for offsets during the pilot phase.
“At this time, changes to the pilot phase offset obligations largely depend on the extent and timing of aviation’s recovery and so in our view it would be premature for Council to change the baseline now. Such a fundamental change to the structure of CORSIA could cause investors to question the commitment to decarbonise aviation and undermine the sector’s overall efforts to reduce emissions.
“CORSIA was designed to have some offset obligations every year as part of putting a price on carbon and helping airlines realise their carbon goals. To have no pilot phase obligations, perhaps extending for even longer, we think risks discouraging investments in new aviation technologies and low-carbon fuels – not to mention stranding investments that have already been made in offset projects and programmes.”
The IATA appeal to the ICAO Council argues the Assembly’s CORSIA resolution provides a safeguard to protect the sector in the event of an “inappropriate economic burden” caused by CORSIA and gives authority to the Council to address this.
However, Petsonk questions whether the 36-member Council has the authority to make a fundamental change to the resolution without referring it to the 193 Member States, which are next due to meet at the Assembly in 2022. CORSIA provides for a three-year assessment starting in 2022 and with airlines not required to finalise the purchase and cancellation of offsets for the pilot phase until early 2025, she said there was plenty of time to analyse the impact of Covid-19 on the sector, and the next Assembly was when to consider a baseline change.
“To make the change in haste, and by Council members rather than the full Assembly, risks sending a signal that a small group of governments can change the fundamental rules of a carbon market without any warning to investors,” she said.
Europe must not turn its back on CORSIA or it could fall apart, EU transport chief warns MEPs
Wed 13 May 2020 – With a deadline of the end of next month (June 30) for countries to voluntarily opt in or out of the CORSIA scheme from its start in January 2021, the EU’s transport chief told sceptical members of the European Parliament this week that EU support was vital for the scheme’s existence. Without it, there was a clear risk CORSIA “could fall to pieces”, Commissioner Adina Vălean told a meeting of the Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI). She reassured MEPs that a future revision of the EU ETS would not be compromised by the implementation of the global offsetting scheme for international aviation emissions and the two would be complementary. Meanwhile, Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans told a transport committee (TRAN) meeting that it was legitimate for Member States to ask airlines currently seeking state bailouts for environmental commitments in return.
He said States should question airlines on whether they would stop paying dividends, lower their carbon footprint, modernise their fleets, invest in sustainable fuels and cut their short-haul routes. The financial burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will fall on future generations, said Timmermans, who is also the Commission’s climate chief and responsible for the European Green Deal.
“What do we have to offer them?” he said. “I think it should be a better world, a cleaner and more sustainable world, and I believe it is our duty if we ask this extra effort of our children and grandchildren that we give them something in return.”
Timmermans also said he supported an aviation kerosene tax but acknowledged this was open to discussion.
Vălean, who recently said it would be unwise to insist States linked bailouts to environmental conditions, told the environment committee, of which she was once a member: “I can assure you that measures taken by Member States to support the recovery of the aviation sector will not in any way exempt companies from their environmental obligations. As you know, the Commission has set a target of climate neutrality by 2050 and all sectors of the economy, including aviation, must contribute to this target.”
She said the use of sustainable alternative fuels was the most promising way to decarbonise aviation in the future. “We must therefore ensure the sector has access to those fuels and the Commission will make a proposal by the end of this year,” she promised. Vălean cautioned that a current lack of volume of such fuels hindered setting up blending obligations. She also reported the Commission was also looking at synthetic fuels and also incentives on renewing fleets with more efficient aircraft.
Work was continuing to ensure the environmental integrity of CORSIA but the scheme was “now ready for take-off” in 2021, she said, and Europe should be proud to be among the first to take part in the first-ever sectoral scheme to tackle GHG emissions at a global level.
“I know some of you are asking was it worth it, is it good enough,” she told MEPs. “For me, the answer is quite simple – yes. There is a clear risk that CORSIA could fall to pieces if the EU was now to turn its back on it. So yes, we need to be in. We need to be at the forefront of supporting CORSIA. It is the only realistic option to start tackling CO2 emissions from international aviation.
“I want to be clear: if the EU was to walk away from CORSIA this would provide a pretext for some major global players to bury it. It would do nothing to reduce international aviation emissions and set back negotiations within ICAO for many years.”
German MEP Peter Liese, the former rapporteur on the Aviation EU ETS legislation, said Parliament had always been sceptical about CORSIA, which he said was not in line with the science or the Paris Agreement.
“However, we can support it but only under a condition that is absolutely clear – that it is compatible with the EU ETS and that no-one will force us to weaken the EU ETS,” he said, adding the Commission should take the lead in restructuring the European aviation industry after the current crisis and should be ‘future proofed’.
Vălean reminded the committee that CORSIA had to be implemented through an amendment to the EU ETS directive following an impact assessment by the Commission, and Parliament, as co-legislators, would be fully involved.
“CORSIA will not replace the EU ETS, it will complement it, especially for those emissions not covered by the EU ETS,” she assured MEPs. “Implementing CORSIA will not pre-judge the forthcoming EU ETS review.”
She quashed suggestions of a full return to the original full scope of the EU ETS under which the emissions of all flights to and from the European Economic Area would be included in addition to the emissions from intra-EEA flights.
“ETS full scope would cause a worldwide boycott of the EU as happened before CORSIA was developed and the EU had to withdraw it under Stop-the-Clock,” she said. “The outcome would be the same again and we would risk killing CORSIA.”
In advance of the June 30 ICAO deadline, the Commission has today submitted a proposal to the European Council on the position and steps Member States should take on notifying their voluntary participation in CORSIA from 1 January 2021.
The proposal also covers which option they should select for calculating operators’ offsetting requirements during the 2021-23 pilot phase of the scheme. The Commission recommends the option of 2021, 2022 and 2023 emissions respectively, for each year of the pilot phase, is selected rather than 2020 emissions for each respective year.
“This approach takes into account the expected environmental and international transport benefits, the need to provide incentives to operators to reduce their environmental impacts and the importance of early action, while also taking into consideration the size of potential offsetting costs for European operators and any impact on their international competitiveness,” argues the Commission. “Indeed, compared to choosing the year 2020 as a reference, a reference to the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively should lead to greater environmental effectiveness. This is because the emissions from international aviation are expected to be higher during 2021, 2022 and 2023 than during 2020, not least as a result of the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on air traffic and emissions.”
Growth of carbon emissions from European flights slowed in 2019 but still against downward trend in other industrial sectors
Thu 7 May 2020 – Aviation emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) rose by 1% in 2019, as against an overall decrease of 9% from stationary installations. However, the European Commission described the increase from 67.49 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018 to 68.14 Mt last year as significantly smaller than in previous years. Analysis by the Commission shows 46% of 2019 emissions were covered by free allocations of allowances to aircraft operators. With IATA forecasting a potential 55% fall in total 2020 European revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) as a result of Covid-19, many airlines may not need to buy any allowances this year. Meanwhile, only a few airlines have so far been required to agree environmental conditions as part of bailouts by EU states, which are largely business-as-usual targets.
According to the Commission, 500 aircraft operators replied and complied with the EU ETS in 2019, including more than 100 commercial aircraft operators based outside the EU that operate flights within the European Economic Area. It said compliance was very high, despite the difficulties of reporting verified emissions and surrendering allowances during the Covid-19 crisis, with non-compliant operators being typically small or who had ceased operating.
Verified GHG emissions from stationary installations, such as power plants and manufacturing, reduced considerably in 2019. This meant Europe’s biggest airline in terms of passenger numbers, Ryanair, which had become the first airline to join the top ten list of highest EU emitters in 2018, climbed the table in 2019. Taken from EU Transaction Log data, Ryanair’s verified emissions in 2019 amounted to 10.45 Mt (excluding standalone Polish business Ryanair Sun, which emitted 78,000 tonnes CO2 in 2019) an increase of 5.8% over the previous year and making up over 15% of all aviation emissions covered by the EU ETS.
Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) said aviation EU ETS emissions have grown 28% since 2013, whereas the remaining other sectors had declined by 20%.
“Airline emissions continued their upward trajectory while other sectors continued to decarbonise,” commented Andrew Murphy, Aviation Director at T&E. “That trend will resume post-crisis unless governments act now to rein in their pollution.”
In an op-ed for The European Files, Green MEP Karima Delli, who is Chair of the European Parliament’s transport committee (TRAN), said as part of the EU ETS revision in 2021, aviation should be fully included and the emissions cap allocated to airlines be reduced. She also called for the EU ETS ‘stop the clock’ mechanism in place that temporarily excludes flights to and from destinations outside Europe be terminated. She said the mechanism had been renewed several times since being adopted in 2012 pending an international solution being reached at ICAO but progress had been “stagnating, or at least moving far too slowly”.
“We should therefore consider coming back to the original scope of the EU ETS for aviation, i.e. covering the aviation sector as a whole, including international flights,” she argued.
T&E is campaigning for the airline industry to be taxed on fuel and passenger tickets. Along with two other NGOs, Greenpeace and Carbon Market Watch, it is also calling on EU governments to link Covid-19 bailouts to binding environmental conditions. According to their ‘Airline bailout tracker’ posted last week (April 30), they estimate governments have agreed €11.5 billion ($12.2bn) in financial aid, with a further €14.6 billion under discussion. None of that has so far come with binding commitments, they said.
As part of its rescue package, Air France must significantly reduce domestic flights where there is a rail alternative with a duration of less than 2.5 hours or otherwise limited to hub transfers, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire. Domestic flights accounted for just 6% of the airline’s available seat kilometres (ASKs) in 2019. Other actions the government wishes to see the airline make include a halving of overall CO2 emissions per passenger-km by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. However, this is a commitment already made by the airline in its Horizon 2030 programme. Le Maire is calling for the CO2 reduction target for domestic flights to be met by the end of 2024, along with fleet renewal with more efficient aircraft and a requirement for the airline’s jet fuel to be made up of 2% SAF by 2025. The SAF target is already part of a roadmap launched by the government just in January (see article).
The Dutch government is reportedly calling for a reduction in night flights by KLM as part of its bailout package. Austria’s environment minister, a member of the Green Party, said bailout money should be linked to climate targets, with options under consideration including a reduction in short-haul flights, increased cooperation with rail companies, heavier use of biofuels and bigger tax contributions.
“France’s green requests are a first but we had non-binding commitments for years and airline pollution ballooned,” commented T&E’s Murphy. “Marginally more efficient planes won’t put a dent in emissions if airlines still burn fossil fuels that they buy tax-free. Governments should require the industry to take up greener fuels and pay taxes like the rest of us.”
Lorelei Limousin, Greenpeace EU climate campaigner, added: “If the European Green Deal means something, short-haul flights have to go and investments need to roll out more clean alternatives like trains.”
A group of 10 Green MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee, including Karima Dalli, has written to the Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, calling for an environmental linkage to state aid.
Commented German Green MEP Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg: “There is no doubt that the aviation industry is in a unique crisis. However, this does not release the airlines from their ecological and social responsibility. That is why I strongly advocate linking the state aid to airlines with conditions.
“The Commission must not limit itself to a spectator role. There must be no going back to ‘business as usual’. In a social and ecological sense, the Commission must actively contribute to the future orientation of the aviation industry.”
Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmerman, who is responsible for the European Green Deal, told the Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) on April 21 that he is in favour of including green conditions to state bailouts. Fellow EVP Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for EU competition, welcomed the French government’s requirement for Air France to curb its emissions but said it was not a Commission consideration when approving state aid. “Member States are free to design measures in line with their policy objectives and EU rules,” she said.
Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean told EURACTIV that this was the wrong time to condition state aid for airlines facing bankruptcy on taking green measures.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue last week, Germany’s environment minister agreed this was not the right time to be imposing green conditions on bailouts for airlines, which required quick and targeted help, but added that in the post-Covid-19 recovery phase there would be “a compass of climate action and social progress” aligned with the Paris Agreement and climate neutrality objectives.
Also taking part, Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and an advisor to the COP26 UK presidency, warned against discriminating against specific industries such as airlines.
“Of course energy companies and airlines are going to have to change but you don’t try to wipe them out in the weeks of rescue,” he said. “What you do is protect employment and then you move to the encouragement of the change.”
Answering a question over bailout linkage at a virtual evidence session of the UK House of Commons’ transport committee yesterday, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of trade body Airlines UK, said: “We don't support any environmental conditions as the UK aviation industry has already committed to net zero emissions by 2050, which is in line with government targets. A roadmap has been set out which shows the way we can achieve this. We need support from government to keep our aviation system alive and if we have anything like the growth that we were projecting before this crisis then we will deliver net zero emissions – that is our commitment.”
Surprising support for linking aviation industry bailouts to climate action came from Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye. He said it was “absolutely right” that the UK government should follow the lead taken by certain other EU countries.
He told MPs: “I do agree that any company that is getting a government bailout should have conditions around decarbonising their business. Many of those companies in need of financial support, not just in aviation, are in carbon-intensive sectors so this is an opportunity to accelerate that change in our economy and for the UK to take a lead.”
He said there had been early warning signs about the Covid-19 pandemic that were not heeded and during the global financial crisis the focus had been solely on the economy. “We need to make sure this doesn’t happen with climate change and we will need to build back better,” he said.
“There should be a focus around developing sustainable aviation fuel production plants in areas of the UK where there is a huge opportunity for regeneration. This is the right time for this kind of investment and the government can help. We should try to double the use of SAF every year and if we can do that then we can beat the UK aviation industry net-zero target.”
Asked whether the crisis had “blown a massive hole” in the business case for a controversial new runway at Heathrow, Holland-Kaye responded: “My focus is firmly on protecting jobs and our business – I'm not thinking about the third runway. However, if in 10 or 15 years’ time we have been successful in rebooting the UK economy and getting it back to full strength then I do think we will need the third runway at that point.”
In a letter to the UK Prime Minister this week, the government’s independent advisory Committee on Climate Change set out key principles on how climate policy could play a part in a resilient post-Covid recovery. It argues that many sectors do not currently bear the full costs of emitting GHG emissions and recommends revenues could be boosted by setting or raising carbon prices, with low global oil prices providing an opportunity without hurting consumers.
Many aviation industry insiders do not see a recovery to pre-pandemic levels for at least two to three years. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury goes further and predicts it could be as long as five years, calling the crisis the gravest ever facing the aerospace sector.