Press release

MP Objects to Government’s ‘fig-leaf’ Jet Zero plan

Date: 07.09.21 | in: Environment, Transport | Tags:

Alex Sobel has formally objected to the Government’s Jet Zero plan, describing it as ‘fanciful rhetoric serving as a fig leaf to hide climate inaction and lack of investment in real alternatives.’

Jet Zero is a new Government Proposal which aims to reach net zero aviation by 2050.

The scheme has been criticised by climate campaigners who point to the over reliance on new technology which has not yet been developed and carbon offsetting which is widely regarded as ineffective.

Alex Sobel, who is Chair of the Net Zero APPG and has submitted a response to the net zero consultation said

“We all agree that air pollution is a large contributing factor to climate change as well as a host of other environmental and public health harms. I also believe firmly that we must look to invest in new technology and have an ambitious plan to have this in use domestically by 2040, something I put directly to the Prime Minister when he took office.”

“But Jet Zero does not deliver on this promise, instead using new technology as fanciful rhetoric serving as a fig leaf to hide climate inaction and lack of investment in real alternatives. Whilst innovation in aircraft, fuels and carbon capture is important for the long term, we need significant investment in infrastructure and development for this to be used at any kind of scale. It is highly unlikely that we will have enough new aircraft, fuelled by new technology, in service by 2050, that meets the ever-increasing demand in air travel.”

“The other trick that this proposal plays is the reliance upon carbon offsetting. Whilst tree planting and other such schemes are positive, they do not repair the damage done through jet emissions.”

It looks as though instead we will see grandstanding of technology now, only for the targets to be reviewed later, all the while airport expansions and increased passenger numbers will see aviation pollution skyrocket.”

“We must do all we can to temper the ever-increasing demand in air travel. This does not mean punishing people who want and deserve a break abroad, but by looking at frequent flying and the business miles of large organisations, questioning the necessity of expanding airports and investing properly in affordable and reliable alternative transport modes and in domestic tourism.”

Sign up to Alex's newsletter