Climate Change

UK aviation has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, through an international approach, working with governments around the world and through the UN.

We are already making progress. Since 2010 we have de-coupled aviation growth from growth in emissions. Between 2010 and 2016, passenger numbers in the UK grew by 27%, while total emissions only grew by around 0.2%. This is as a result of airlines purchasing new aircraft technology – our airline members have improved their fuel efficiency by almost 12% – improved air traffic management and airports investing in reduced energy use on airfields.

Sustainable Aviation Carbon Road-Map: A path to Net Zero


Our Road-Map shows how we can accommodate a 70% growth in passengers by 2050 whilst reducing net carbon emissions levels from just over 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year down to zero through smarter flight operations, new aircraft and engine technology, modernising our airspace, the use of sustainable aviation fuels and significant investment in carbon reductions through smart market-based policy measures.

UK potential by 2035


Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is the next big breakthrough opportunity for aviation carbon reductions. Globally, SAF is at a tipping point, with projects on the verge of commercial-scale production. We now estimate a 32% reduction in emissions from UK aviation is possible from the use of SAF in 2050. This represents a CO2 saving of 14.4Mt. For more details, see our new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road-Map.