In total, aviation emissions represent around 6% of UK greenhouse gas emssions.

Over the first carbon budget period aviation emissions fell 11%, largely as demand for flying fell substantially during the recession.

In future, aviation emissions are projected to rise without further reduction measures. They can be reduced through a combination of fuel efficiency improvement, use of biofuels and a moderation of demand growth.

Policy approaches to aviation emissions should be at the global or EU level, given the international nature of the industry. Until these are agreed, our recommendation is that an appropriate long-term planning assumption for aviation is for emissions to be around 2005 levels in 2050.

An increase in demand of around 60% would be consistent with this, and should be used by the government when assessing related policies (e.g. airport capacity).

UK aviation CO2 emissions (1990-2012)

Aviation emissions

UK aviation CO2 emissions (1990-2012)
Source: DECC (2014)