Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change

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Despite myths propagated by the airline industry, aviation already accounts for 13% of the UK’s contribution to climate change.

To make matters worse, aviation is the UK's fastest-growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

We could close every factory, lock away every car and turn off every light in the country, but it won't halt global warming if we carry on taking planes as often as we do.

These are stark statistics but offer a conservative estimate of the damage contributed by aviation, since they only count flights departing the UK – not those returning! The UK’s top climatologists predict that aviation’s emissions alone are predicted to exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%. (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)

Emissions from aircraft are especially problematic because of the height at which they are emitted and the particularly noxious mix of gases, making them 2.7 times more damaging than the effect of their carbon dioxide alone (known as radiative forcing). (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)

Despite the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence highlighting the threat from aviation, the sector is not considered by any binding international treaties such as the Kyoto protocol. Furthermore, it will not be subject to the legally binding emission reductions demanded by the UK’s proposed ‘Climate Bill.’

There are no alternative fuels for aircraft and the Royal Commission does not expect any significant technological developments that would lessen aviation’s impact for several decades. The British government admits that "there is no viable alternative currently visible to kerosene as an aviation fuel." (The Guardian, 28/02/06)