Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced the creation of a “jet zero council”, with the goal of making net zero emissions possible for future flights.
Speaking during the government’s daily briefing, Shapps noted the “challenge to make transport, currently our biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, part of the solution, not the problem” as the country emerges from the coronavirus crisis.
“Take the aviation sector for example, which has had an impossible few months,” he said. “Despite these obvious challenges there’s a real determination within the industry to have a greener restart. So we’re bringing together leaders from aviation, environmental groups and government to form the jet zero council.”
Shapps said the group would be “charged with making net zero emissions possible for future flights.”
“Our goal, within a generation, will be to demonstrate flights across the Atlantic without harming the environment,” he said.
Shapps added the government was backing a company building a plant for aviation bio fuels in Lincolnshire, and said he was “also excited” about a project at Cambridge University “to accelerate technologies for zero carbon flights”.
Responding to the announcement, Tim Alderslade, chief executiv of Airlines UK said: "It’s an excellent initiative and the transport secretary should be applauded for demonstrating such a willingness to work with the aviation industry to achieve our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
"There are huge opportunities for the UK to be a world-leader in sustainable aviation fuels production and electric aviation, creating thousands of high-skilled jobs and major export opportunities in the process. It’s a win-win for all of our regions who will stand to gain from this and for the UK’s decarbonisation efforts, and we’re looking forward to taking part."