New government plans to ramp up the number of flights will make it “all but impossible” for the UK to cut its carbon emissions to the required levels, environmentalists have warned.
Downing Street was accused of “a total disregard for the planet” after it unveiled a new air traffic management bill on Thursday to lift practical limits on the number of planes British airspace can accommodate.
The bill was included in Thursday’s Queen’s Speech and forms part of the government’s legislative programme for the coming years – despite pledges in the Tory manifesto to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Around 15 per cent of the UK’s climate impact come from aviation and environmentalists say that even more flights would be incompatible with the UK’s contribution to stopping global disaster.
But the Government says the aviation sector also contributes £22 billion to the UK economy each year and provides over 200,000 jobs, and says its new laws will grow the aviation sector.
Ministers say growth will be “sustainable” and that supposedly outdated practices “limit the number of flights the airspace can safely accommodate”.
But campaigners have said the approach will accelerate “climate breakdown” and says that claims aviation be expanded without increased emissions are not realistic.