UK Carbon Targets Must Include Aviation and Shipping

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, UK


Planes and cargo boats consume vast quantities of fossil fuels, releasing equally large amounts of greenhouse gases. Excluding them from carbon targets is senseless. If a country doesn’t include such significant producers, its carbon target is rendered pretty meaningless.  

However, that is exactly the situation in the UK, which needs to decide this year whether to include aviation and shipping in its long-term carbon targets. The sectors were excluded from international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, creating this loophole.

Rather than watering down carbon targets with a handy get-out clause, the UK must be realistic. Carbon emissions don’t disappear just because you ignore them. For a carbon target to have an effect, it needs to include all sources.

Climate change is much too urgent an issue for excuses to interfere with action. Cheap package holidays are not nearly as important as ensuring our children have a future. Tell the UK to include aviation and shipping in its carbon targets.


We the undersigned ask that you include aviation and shipping in the UK’s long-term carbon targets. These sectors are major producers of carbon emissions and shouldn't be ignored when establishing goals.

The effects of ever-increasing carbon emissions, including pollution, climate change and ocean acidification directly or indirectly impact every area of the UK's economy, not to mention our environment and ourselves.

The UK is already seeing some of the effects of climate change. Letting things slide for the sake of short-term political or economic gain is not worth it, even in the medium-term. People are far worse affected by droughts than they would be by a reduction in the availability of cheap flights.

We ask that you don't ignore two important producers of carbon emissions and instead create a realistic target that takes into account all sources.

Thank you for your attention.

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