Notably, it was earlier this year when Britain became the first G7 state to place such an objective, even though the aviation and shipping sectors were not explicitly mentioned.
In fact, the two sectors attribute almost 5% of global greenhouse emissions, a number that is expected to rise substantially if not properly dealt with, especially with the increase noticed in passenger flying numbers.
The chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Chris Stark said that
Now is the time to bring the UK’s international aviation and shipping emissions formally within the UK’s net-zero target. These are real emissions, requiring a credible plan to manage them to net-zero by 2050.
In a letter to Grant Shapps, Britain’s transport minister, the CCC stated that aviation emissions could be reduced by about a fifth until 2050 under the condition that sustainable biofuels are used; fuel efficiency is improved and demand growth is limited to at most 25% above present levels.
Zero-carbon aviation may be an unattainable scenario until 2050 and in order to neutralize remaining greenhouse gas emissions, other removal methods would be needed. The CCC proposed that the Government could potentially form a market targeting flexible greenhouse gas removal solutions, such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage.
Such a solution would allow emissions to be captured and stored without going to the atmosphere.
Concerning the shipping sector, zero-carbon or near zero-carbon emissions could be a viable scenario by 2050, suggesting the widespread adoption of greener, untried and alternative fuels, such as hydrogen or even ammonia.
This all comes after various ports, banks, oil and shipping companies launched an initiative wishing to have vessels and marine fuels with zero-carbon emissions operating by 2030.
The International Civil Aviation Organization aims to halving emissions by 2050, as compared to the levels of 2005 and is also working on a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for (CORSIA), demanding from most airlines to reduce emissions or be excluded if buying credits from environmental programs.