UK defers tackling CO2 from international transport

19th December 2012

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • Mitigation



The government will not decide whether to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in future carbon budgets until at least 2016, reveals energy secretary

In a statement published today (19 December 2012), Ed Davey confirms that the government is delaying making a decision on including international transport emissions in carbon targets while negotiations are ongoing to create a global approach to cutting aviation emissions.

“Given the uncertainty of what is happening at the EU and global level in managing aviation emissions, we think it sensible to defer our decision on the inclusion of aviation and shipping emissions in the UK’s carbon budgets,” he said.

Currently, emissions from international aviation and shipping are not included in the UK’s legally-binding target to cut carbon emissions by 80% on 2005 levels by 2050 nor in the four agreed carbon budgets up to 2027.

However, a report earlier this year from the committee on climate change advised ministers to include international transport emissions in future carbon budgets.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the government had until the end of 2012 to introduce new legislation making that change or publish a parliamentary report explaining why it had not done so.

In its report, DECC cites the European Commission’s decision in November to suspend the inclusion of international flights from the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) as the key reason behind the delay.

“Due to the degree of uncertainty over the future shape of international agreements affecting international aviation, in particular aviation’s treatment within the EU ETS, we are deferring a firm decision,” states the report.

“We are also deferring a decision on the inclusion of international shipping, as … we would prefer to maintain a consistent approach to both international sectors.”

The government will reconsider whether to include emissions from international transport when it sets the fifth carbon budget in 2016.

The postponement is the latest in a series of environmental policy delays including a decision on whether to set a decarbonisation target for the electricity generation sector and a whole-scale review of the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency scheme, both of which have been put off until 2016, after the next general election.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close