Air travel may contribute a third of UK greenhouse emissions by 2050

Fri 28 May 2004 View all news

The Government expects aviation to contribute around 21.5% of total UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2050, compared with just 7.5% in 2010. The total effect of aviation on climate change is likely to be greater than the percentage CO2 share implies because of the radiative forcing factor caused by most emissions taking place at altitude.

The projections were given in a written answer to a parliamentary question, by Environment Minister, Elliot Morley, and are based on the assumption that the UK meets CO2 reduction targets outlined in last year's Energy White Paper.

While there is uncertainty about the scale of the radiative forcing effect, the likely contribution of aviation to total greenhouse gas emissions is projected to be 32.5% of the total effect in 2050.

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