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Taking flight: A policy route to achieving jet zero

The aviation industry accounted for 7% of all UK emissions in 2018, before Covid severely brought down passenger numbers. Aviation’s share of emissions will grow, however, as other sectors that already have commercial, zero-carbon solutions decarbonise at a faster rate.

Last year the Jet Zero Strategy set the aviation industry in the right direction towards net zero by 2050, but specific policies to de-risk emissions reductions and unlock private investment are still needed. The government must strengthen its policies, if it is to achieve jet zero.

This manifesto will set out firm policies to build on the Jet Zero Strategy to decarbonise UK aviation, both domestic and international, in line with the commitments of the Sixth Carbon Budget and our net zero target. The policies are guided by the following principles:

  1. Aviation should decarbonise, not shut down, to meet net zero. Aviation unlocks greater interconnectedness between societies and has a critical function in facilitating trade. Aviation is rightly included in net zero and interim targets, but starting out by aiming to reduce demand for flying would harm society and the economy, and undermine political support for net zero.

  2. Innovation and the deployment of nascent technologies can decarbonise aviation. Given our strengths in science and engineering, aviation decarbonisation is a huge economic growth opportunity for the UK. But further policy is needed to provide a level playing field and to unlock these benefits.

  3. The deployment of sustainable fuels and aircraft must be funded by the industry. It should not fall on the taxpayer. Instead, we should follow the principle that the polluter pays so the industry funds the development and deployment of clean technologies and fuel. The government should, however, create market frameworks to spur private investment.

We propose the following policies that will accelerate jet zero innovation, support the development of new British industries, and reduce the climate impact of flying using existing technologies.

Signed by

Robert Courts MP
Chris Grayling MP
Andrew Selous MP
Henry Smith MP
Sir Oliver Heald MP
David Simmonds MP
Steve Brine MP
Matt Hancock MP

Jo Gideon MP
Elliot Colburn MP
Katherine Fletcher MP
Dan Poulter MP
John Baron MP
Damian Green MP
Rachel Maclean MP
Flick Drummond MP

Virginia Crosbie MP
Stephen Hammond MP
Sir Graham Brady MP
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Anthony Browne MP
Siobhan Baillie MP
Kevin Foster MP
Mark Garnier MP

Richard Graham MP
Scott Benton MP
Lord John Randall
Baroness Elizabeth Sugg
Graham Simpson MSP
Maurice Golden MSP
Brian Whittle MSP
Liam Kerr MSP


1. Use Contracts for Difference to encourage development of sustainable aviation fuel in the UK


3. Roll out domestic zero emission flights in the UK


2. Support innovation in the next generation of sustainable aviation fuels.


4. Create a UK gold standard offset scheme

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