REDUCED FLIGHTS: Government confirms reducing flights in and out of UK as part of climate plan
The Government has confirmed reducing the number of flights in and out of airports will be part of its decarbonisation plan, but questions remain about the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) asked the Transport Secretary: “There needs to be a combination of both technological development but also flight reduction because otherwise it is not going to be possible.
“Can he confirm that reducing flights will form part of this plan, if it is a plan, to get this country to net zero emissions by 2040 and that he will therefore act decisively to stop expansion of Heathrow?”
In response, Mr Shapps said: “The answer is emphatically yes. We will for example have planes for VIPs returning for Cop26 with the offer of SAP, sustainable aviation fuel, taking them home: and that is in 2021. We have got until 2040 to develop some of the other great plans, including hydrogen and battery technology.”
He also said emissions from flights made up a “sliver” of emissions from transport, accounting for only 1.2% of these emissions, while road travel accounted for 70%.
The Transport Secretary has emphasised the Government is not “anti-car” and will not “demonise” drivers as it sets out plans to reduce carbon emissions by 2040.
Grant Shapps told the Commons: “We are not against the car. We want people to have access to cars and indeed in rural areas it is often the only way that people have got to get around, despite obviously wanting to improve bus services and the rest of it.”
He added: “We intend to carry on investment but to make sure that the cars can run without damaging people’s health and the environment, and that makes sense.”
Mr Shapps was responding to a comment from Conservative MP Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), who asked: “Will the Secretary of State agree with me that to tackle climate change we need to decarbonise cars, vans and taxis and not demonise cars, vans and taxis?”
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