The UK Government’s aviation plan only applies in England, as transport and environment powers are devolved to the Scottish Government
As part of the plans to make Scotland a net zero nation by 2045 the SNP in the Scottish Government will deliver a revolution in transport across all parts of Scotland. Given transport is a leading carbon emitter, decarbonising aviation is essential for our ambitions for a net zero nation.
The only future for the aviation industry is a decarbonised one, and Scotland is leading the world in aviation decarbonisation ambition.
Scotland has the world’s most ambitious plans for being the first zero emission aviation region by 2040.
This is being done in several ways, including investment in new technologies, but also by eliminating inefficiencies and developing public transport links to airports, eliminating reliance on more polluting personal transportation to airports.
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) which manages 11 local airports is leading the way in Scotland, investing £3.7 million in a decarbonisation program at Kirkwall airport in Orkney. The organisation plans to decarbonise all of its airports, or at least make them carbon neutral. This includes exploring the possibilities of hydrogen powered aircraft as an alternative to current fossil fuels. This will not only be beneficial for the environment, but also the economy, as climate conscious tourists and travellers choose to travel sustainably.
Research commissioned by Sustainable Aviation UK claims that sustainable aviation fuel production could create between 1,060 and 2,310 jobs in Scotland and generate between £153 and £332 million Gross Value Added per year.
With Scotland leading the UK’s ambitions in decarbonising travel and supporting eco-tourism, it would be a good example for other regional and national airports around the UK to follow.
The UK Government should follow Scotland’s lead and match ambition for a zero-emission region for England by 2040 as well, or at the very least a net zero travel region.
Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet and our species and must be treated with the complete seriousness it deserves. That is why the SNP in Government in Scotland will always emphasise climate action.