Thursday, September 10, 2009

Britain: "Air travel may have to be rationed in the future says Government climate change advisers"

From the Telegraph:

The era of cheap air travel cannot continue, according to Government advisers, who have called for a global cap on aviation emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Air travel is expected to at least double by the middle of the century as new airlines spring up in developing countries like China and rich countries like Britain expand airports such as Heathrow.

However the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) fears unlimited growth of air travel will cause greenhouse gas emissions to increase and therefore cause global warming.

In a letter to the Secretaries of State for Climate Change and Transport, the committee calls for global aviation emissions to be capped at 2005 levels by 2050.

They said that this does not mean that the number of flights will be cut in the short term.

However, unless new technology allowing planes to fly without producing so many greenhouse gases is invented very soon, it does mean that the world cannot afford to take more flights than currently are taken.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the CCC, said the era of each generation being able to fly more than the last was over and flights may get more expensive as a way of rationing.

"You may want to go on holiday more that you do now. But you may not be able to do that in a carbon-constrained world," he said.

The CCC is calling for the Government to push for a global cap on aviation emissions as part of any deal climate change deal to be decided by the UN in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

All aviation emissions should be capped, but there could be a period where flights in and out of rich countries would be targeted, while those between developing countries were exempt, the letter suggested....MORE