Heathrow airport has urged the government to invest some of the nearly £4 billion raised from Air Passenger Duty (APD) every year to scale up the production of cleaner, more sustainable fuels.
Last month, prime minister Theresa May signed legislation committing the UK to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through investment in low-carbon technologies and carbon offsetting.
However, Heathrow has called on the government to focus specifically on biofuels and other sustainable energy sources that could be used to power operations at Britain’s busiest airport.
Posting half-year (six months to 30 June) adjusted pre-tax profits of £153 million, up 61% year-on-year, and revenue of £1.461 billion, up 4%, on Tuesday morning (23 July), Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the airport supported the government’s net zero carbon emissions goal and would work to “ensure global aviation plays its part”.
Heathrow says it has invested more than £100 million on sustainability initiatives over the past six years meaning it will operate “carbon neutral airport infrastructure” from 2020. It is also aiming to achieve zero carbon airport infrastructure “much sooner” than the government’s 2050 target.
“We support the government’s goal to make the UK economy net zero carbon by 2050, but we believe there is further scope for the government to help the aviation industry move faster by working with other governments to prioritise sustainable fuels for aviation, which is the hardest sector to decarbonise, and set common and progressive targets for the percentage of aviation fuel that must be from sustainable sources,” said Heathrow in a trading update.
“This will send a strong signal to producers to increase investment in biofuel and synthetic fuel production and start to reduce the cost of production.”