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Decarbonising aviation – Scotland employs green sky thinking


With its commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 – five years ahead of the rest of the UK – the Scottish Government can, with some justification, be described as a leader in setting climate change targets.

However, a key challenge it faces is how to meet its net-zero target while continuing to receive the social and economic benefits of air travel.  To resolve this issue, the Scottish Government is expected to produce an aviation strategy for the first time, having recently launched a consultation to seek views on how to realise its vision for aviation. 

STEPS ALREADY TAKEN

Logistics UK contributed to the response, noting the work that is already underway with airlines which are continuously upgrading their fleets. New planes are much more fuel efficient and have quieter engines, the use of biofuels or jet fuel created from energy from waste is increasing and ground operations are moving quickly towards becoming carbon neutral. Logistics UK also highlighted that it would support any Scottish Government incentives to develop sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and zero emission flights. Currently cost-prohibitive, any advances that can be made to reduce the production costs of SAFs would help increase their market share and ultimately accelerate the  aviation sector’s drive to reduce its emissions. 

GEOGRAPHICAL CHALLENGES

Scotland faces specific geographical challenges relating to location and accessibility, especially among the Scottish islands, and in its response Logistics UK urged that its freight transport and logistics links are organised and structured to prevent this geographical peripherality becoming an economic challenge. Unlike the UK, Scotland exports more than it imports, largely owing to its food and whisky exports to global markets, and much of Scotland’s air freight is trucked to, and flown out of, Heathrow or East Midlands. 

MAINTAINING CONNECTIVITY

Maintaining and improving Scotland’s trunk road network, to ensure connectivity with the rest of the UK and beyond, therefore, is of critical importance to its air freight sector. Logistics UK will continue to support this and feed into the Strategic Transport Projects Review, which ultimately feeds into the National Transport Strategy. 

Alexandra Herdman, Public Policy Manager, Logistics UK, said: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to decarbonising aviation, and Logistics UK is encouraged that the aviation strategy will consider both the short-term and long-term goals, and will adapt in response to emerging trends and technological developments. Logistics UK eagerly anticipates the outcome of the consultation and looks forward to continuing to support the Scottish Government as it looks to achieve net-zero.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/air  

Published On: 03/03/2022 16:00:53

 



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