Magazine
Latest Issue

Watch: Cleaner skies – aviation’s role in a future of sustainable travel

By Chris Tilbury  

Aviation underpins the UK economy. It supports over 230,000 jobs directly and more than one million jobs indirectly and generates over £22 billion annually. It has massive wider economic benefits too: for an island nation it is a vital enabler of trade and tourism in the global marketplace.

Yet climate change remains the greatest long-term challenge we all face. The science is clear—to avoid the worst effects of climate change the whole global economy must reach net zero by 2050, and aviation is no exception.

For too long addressing carbon emissions and growing aviation have been seen as being in conflict. They do not need to be. The challenge is to decarbonise flying so that we protect the benefits of aviation in a world without carbon, and earlier this year the UK aviation sector became the first in the world to commit to net zero by 2050.

To meet those commitments, we must innovate; through technological advances like cleaner engines, electric aircraft and Sustainable Aviation Fuels, and through policy changes that encourage greener behaviour, to find solutions to the challenges that the industry faces in meeting its target.

The goal of sustainable travel is to find the ways that trade and tourism can be maintained, and grown in the long-term, whilst minimising the effects on our natural environment and providing jobs in new and emerging industries.

The aviation industry’s contribution to the economy, particularly now, is much needed but not at any price. The question is, how can the industry, government and the public work together towards a more sustainable, cleaner, greener future?

Speakers include:

  • Tom Clark, Editor, Prospect
  • Catherine McKinnell MP, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne North
  • Dr Andy Jefferson, Programme Director, Sustainable Aviation
  • John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Airport Ltd

This event is kindly supported by Heathrow.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk