February 21, 2024

UK PM attacks aviation ambitions at COP26

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has slated aviation’s sustainability ambitions as ‘pathetic’ and called on the sector to do better.

Speaking at the global summit on climate change, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, Johnson said: “The current industry target is to get to 10% sustainable aviation fuel for the whole world by 2030. How pathetic is that, we can do better than that.

“It was 100 years ago that Alcock and Brown flew the Atlantic for the first time with about 865 imperial gallons of petrol – we have made virtually no progress technologically since then in our approach to sending a plane across the Atlantic. We must be far, far more ambitious.”

He said he is shortly due to fly on an aircraft powered by 35% sustainable aviation fuel and that he and tech billionaire, Bill Gates, had this week agreed to jointly spend £400 million trying to solve the problems of low carbon aviation, seeking, he said: “zero, guilt-free aviation’ and concluding: “We have to fix it.”

He also turned the spotlight onto positive initiatives being supported by the new Earthshot Prize, led by Prince William, to fund game-changing eco initiatives in the Transport, Steel, Hydrogen, Agriculture and Power sectors. He said: “I think we can crack these problems. The whole objective of this summit is to take the breakthroughs and get the finance and support to make sure that they are disseminated and spread around the whole world, so the whole world shares in
the Glasgow breakthroughs and the agenda and that we united across the whole planet to address climate change.”