Plane approaching Heathrow airport (Credit: stockcam/istock)

Commenting on the ruling today about the third runway at Heathrow Airport, Professor Sam Fankhauser, Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: “This is a good ruling because it makes clear that the Government must take account of its domestic and international commitments on reducing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions when making decisions about long-lived infrastructure projects. The Government should now re-consider how the UK’s aviation sector fits into an overall integrated transport strategy for the country that is consistent with the target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. There needs to be much more investment by both Government and the aviation industry to speed up the development of zero-carbon flying, most likely using electric batteries for short-haul flights and biofuels for longer distances. Until zero-carbon flying is available, the Government should find ways to shift passengers off planes and onto clean, fast, convenient and affordable modes of travel, such as trains powered by zero-carbon electricity.”

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