and here come the airlines ....
Climate change: Airlines miss all but one target - report
"Companies set grand-sounding targets with a lot of fanfare and announcement. They talk about them for a couple of years - then the targets sink without trace, never to be seen again," Leo Murray from Possible told BBC News. Read the story here.
They say ....... With a track record as a sustainability leader for more than a decade, Virgin Atlantic has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Today, 100% of its fleet is twin engine and 70% next generation, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the skies. This follows a multi-billion-dollar fleet renewal programme that has already delivered a 20% reduction in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2019.
We say ..... TOO LITTLE toO LATE.
Possible points out that between 2010-12 Virgin Atlantic said that 10% of its fuel would be biofuel by 2020. Possible says the target wasn't mentioned again. In 2021 Virgin Atlantic announced it will use 10% alternative fuels by 2030. The charity also claims that $3bn promised by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson to fight global warming was not delivered.
Virgin did not respond to a request for comment.
Sometimes you don't even have to look very far to find a beautiful example of greenwash. We've got used to airports claiming to be sustainable (as long as they don't count the flights from the airport) but this is an even better .... an airline claiming to be sustainable as long as you don't count their flights. And as long as you allow for the usual nonsense about Sustainable Aviation Fuels (um ... there's no such thing) and ofsetting. SUSTAINABLE AT EVERY STAGE OF THE JOURNEY.
Thanks to the Stay Grounded Network for the nomination. If you'd like to know more about flying - the facts rather than the stories the airlines and airports woudl have you believe, have a look at our pages on the airline industry
may greenwasher of the month
Great news: we can all carry on driving until 2050. Thank heavens for the far sighted vision of national highways
They say: Roads will be a vital part of zero carbon travel
haven't we already blown 1.5° ?
That's all good then.
AND HERE'S a corker .....
Ready for a decade of difference: Heathrow launches refreshed sustainability strategy
Read the whole sad saga here but if you don't have the time and want a quick taster of what they're saying:
"In a UK airport first, introduce a Sustainable Aviation Fuel based incentives programme for airlines, encouraging our partners to invest in SAF, reduce their carbon footprint and help to hit our carbon reduction targets
Develop a Nature Positive Airport Plan to continue to strengthen and showcase biodiversity management at the airport"
Heathrow Airport has just launched its new Sustainability Strategy "to help the airport build back better from the pandemic with carbon reductions and ensuring Heathrow is a great place to live and work top of the agenda"
What we really need to be doing is confronting this massive PR exercise which is trying to distract us all from the very simple fact that flying has to drastically slow down if we are to get anywhere near a sustainable future. It's not going to make a jot of a difference if all the people who work at Heathrow cycle to work and have vegan food in the canteens. What on earth do they take us for ?
The “green” case for HS2 – poor research and the romance of big promises
'The HS2 Minister has made a commitment trains on HS2 will be zero-carbon energy from the outset, driving the government’s goal to make HS2 net zero from 2035 and supporting the government’s 2050 target to tackle climate change.'
That's as long as they don't use electricity generated at the DRAX power station. All too little too late.
According to HS2’s own forecasts, even over 120 years, its overall construction and operation cause carbon emissions of 1.49m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. HS2’s construction requires vast quantities of concrete and steel, as well as diesel-powered machines moving millions of tonnes of earth. Read this Guardian article for more information on whether HS2 will cut the UK’s emissions.
Remember, there is no technology fix and the only way we can slow or even stop the damage being done by flying is to reduce the amount of flying. The usual arguments that it will affect the poorest disproportionately are simply untrue, what we urgently need is a tax on avaition fuel (like petrol and diesel), we need to curtail the use of private jets, we need a frequent flyer tax, and we need to stop giving oil companies massive tax breaks to carry in their dirty business.
so what do pilots know about flying that the government doesn't ?
It's not just pilots but the whole range of aviation experts. And unsurprisingly it's not that the government doesn't know but that it has chosen to ignore the science. What everyone knows (and almost everyone agrees on now) is that flying is bad for the environment and especially for the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Dumping those gasses high in the atmosphere is much more problematic than releasing them at ground level. It's also widely known that a small percentage of the population fly the most and a significant number of people never fly. "Flying is the fastest way we can burn fossil fuels and produce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a highly unequal activity as only 2% to 4% of the global population flew internationally in 2018, and only 1% of world population emitted 50% of CO2 from commercial aviation." Read more here. So apart from the massive inequality embedded in flying are there any solutions? We are told there will be efficiencies in design, new types of electric planes and new types of fuels (hydrogen and biofuels) and these will allow us to continue flying at the rates we have been. And even if these don't work we can always use carbon offsets. While there is an element of truth in these, none of the 'solutions' will come anywhere near providing a way for us to carry on flying (and carrying on increasing the amount of flying we do) while we remain within the 1.5° limit. For a more detailed explanation have a look at the information below from Stay Grounded and watch the collection of videos from Finlay Asher of Green Sky Thinking.
But while the fossil Fuel companies are lobbying for all their worth against these things it's the usual uphill battle for the planet.
If ever there was a red herring .... Bearing in mind nobody has been able to turn local waste into jet fuel and the amount of biofuel needed would destroy unbelievable areas of the world (destroying natural areas and forests to grow plants to make biofuels .... own goal anyone?) we need to move quickly away from looking for a saviour here. One of our favourite Climate Criminals has been at it again ...... Read here to see what Shell have up their sleeves.
A recent action outside the McKinsey Offices in Central London to draw attention to the nonsense of "sustainable" aviation fuels and their part in maintaining this myth. Calling something 'sustainable' when it isn't is one of the standard tricks of Greenwash.
WHATS MCKINSEY GOT TO DO WITH It?
McKinsey is one of the biggest and most influential Management Consultants. Their advice is sought and paid for by Governments across the world. Never more so than when it supports the status quo and never more so than when vested interests are also producing the same narrative.
It ranked in the top 10 biggest buyers of flights in the US in 2019
McKinsey has made the commitment to reduce Scope 3 per person business flights by 30% by 2025, unlike rivals like Deloitte (50% reduction per employee) and PWC UK.
McKinsey talks endlessly about technology being the key to tackling climate change, but has huge conflicts of interest in the advice it gives companies on this, not only as one of the biggest corporate flyers itself, but while getting paid by over half of the world's 25 biggest airlines.
McKinsey have co-written the ‘Clean Skies for tomorrow’ report with the World Economic Forum and their partners which includes the Energy Transition Commission, a fossil fuel funded and managed ‘think tank’ and aeroplane fuel lobbying company (you could not make this up). This initiative along with the Sustainable Aviation Roadmap are regularly quoted by the government to support their strategy. McKinsey continually pushes the ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuel’ options that clearly do not exist.
A small glimmer of hope recently emerged with over 1100 McKinsey employees signing an open letter to the management of the company demanding they stop working with the top polluters. Read it here. McKinsey's main contribution to the Climate and Ecological Emergency is in the relationship and advice they give to the their clients when they are the top polluters.
On 1st and 2nd December, London is hosting the World Aviation Festival at ExCel. Sponsored by the usual climate villains, and promoting a climate wrecking industry, keep a look out for some of the different actions taking place across London exposing the Greenwash and dishonesty.
Spot any airlines, fossil fuel companies or frequent flyers in the list of partners involved in the production of this report?
Thanks to Finlay Asher for this fantastic range of videos: watch to learn why carbon offsetting is a lie, ask why aviation fuel is not taxed (unlike petrol and diesel), why hydrogen and electric planes are fantasy, why private jets are the most unequal form of pollution. We need to curtail the use of private jets, we need a frequent flyer tax, and we need to stop giving oil companies massive tax breaks to carry in their dirty business.
More on Sustainable Aviation Fuel: the airline industry claims that it will be the solution which will allow us to carry on flying at pre-pandemic levels without pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere.
Absolute #Greenwash. This is not carbon neutral. The burnt fuel still produces vast amounts of CO2. There is currently no such thing as sustainable aviation. All flying directly contributes to the #ClimateCrisis
This video shows clearly how it is completely impossible to have SAF at a scalable and cost efficient level.
But thank heavens EasyJet has come to the rescue of the planet with their new Cabin Crew uniforms:
"EasyJet has introduced new cabin crew and pilot uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles"
What a load of guff - and in a brilliant piece of timing the story was pushed out on the same day that the IPCC's report on the future of the planet was published.
EasyJet = shameless
crew and pilots to wear uniforms made out of recycled plastic bottles. Pathetic. Making this announcement on the day the IPCC report is launched is outrageous. Do the right thing easyJet. STOP FLYING
Major airlines say they’re acting on climate change.
If you’re a traveller who cares about reducing your carbon footprint, are some airlines better to fly with than others?
Several of the world’s major airlines have announced plans to become “carbon neutral”, while others are trialling new aviation fuels.
The good news? Some airlines are taking positive steps.
Our research reveals how little they’ve achieved
When you compare what’s being done against the continued growth in emissions, even the best airlines are not doing anywhere near enough.
Our research found three-quarters of the world’s biggest airlines showed improvements in carbon efficiency – measured as carbon dioxide per available seat. But that’s not the same as cutting emissions overall.
One good example was the Spanish flag carrier Iberia, which reduced emissions per seat by about 6% in 2017, but increased absolute emissions by 7%. Read more here
The bad news? When you compare what’s being done against the continued growth in emissions, even the best airlines are not doing anywhere near enough.
Be careful what you read - things might not be quite what they seem - even with some progress this story is definitely ...
Green Fuels, Green airports, Green Planes ..... Bring it on
Some more nonsense on flying and airports:
We will be using traditional fuels in planes until 2050. Read the story here
Bristol Airport Claims it will be Carbon Zero very soon (as long as you don't count flights, car parking or journeys to and from the airport. Unbelievable. Read the story here.
Easy Jet's say "Flying is fantastic, it allows us to explore, relax and restore ourselves and it leads to amazing memories ... but it's time that we took responsibility for the effect flying has on the environment .... that's why for every flight we operate, we'll offset the carbon from the fuel used by investing in projects that include the planting of trees or protecting against deforestation and renewable energies. We believe it will make us one of the largest investors oil carbon offset projects globally ... " Read more here
Well done Easy Jet ... they say "we know carbon offsetting is not perfect ... we'll continue to research and implement other ways ... electric and hydrogen aviation technologies ... Read here
Two problems. One is carrying on business as usual and relying on future technological fixes - which of course just might not work. And if these solutions don't work it'll just be too late. Meanwhile, Carbon Offsetting also allows business as usual - just shunting the problem somewhere else. What we have to do is really simple. We need to stop pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere now - not just carry on and hope someone else in the future or someone else in a far away country will deal with it.
Read here for a more informed discussion. "Offsetting projects simply don’t deliver what we need – a reduction in the carbon emissions entering the atmosphere. Instead, they’re a distraction from the real solutions to climate change. As a result, offsetting allows companies like BP and Shell as well as airlines to continue with their unsustainable behaviour while shifting their responsibility for the climate onto the consumer."
and more in the Guardian
Dave Lees, CEO Bristol Airport; a spokesman for Bristol Airport says:
“Sustainable development has always been at the centre of Bristol Airport’s plans. The expansion proposals sit alongside a roadmap which sets out how the airport will achieve its ambition to become carbon neutral for direct emissions by 2025 and a net zero airport by 2050.”
Cllr Clarke (Bristol) said it was “the biggest carbon related decision in a generation”.
He said: “There is absolutely no mention by West of England Combined Authority (WECA) of the negative effects of the proposed expansion including a million tonnes of extra CO2 equivalent gases a year into the high atmosphere (where it is especially damaging), 10,000 extra car journeys a day, a new multi-storey car park on green belt land and many extra summertime night flights.” read more
More on Bristol Airport
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPPB) is the latest pension fund to join the pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, calling it an “ambitious but achievable” goal the institutional investor will outline targets for in the coming months.
“While the transition to the low-carbon economy presents many challenges, it also presents many opportunities to earn the returns we need to pay our members’ pensions while more broadly benefiting society and the environment,” Ontario Teachers’ Chief Investment Officer Ziad Hindo said in a statement.
And remember why the council turned down their planning application in 2020 - Councillor John Ley-Morgan said: "How can we achieve our ambition for carbon neutrality by 2030 if we approve this decision?" Read more here.
And as we know, because of the way emissions are counted Canada's emission targets are not going to be impacted by one of their own companies investing in dirty business in another country. Read about the way emissions are counted here.
And the Canadian teachers don't want their pension fund to invest in airport expansion. In an open letter the six current and former teachers said they do not want their money used in such a “financially risky and unethical way”, and would not want a foreign investor paving over their green spaces.
CEO of Luton
Council explains how airport expansion is compatible with being carbon neutral.
Luton Borough Council statement: "Luton Council has pledged to make the town carbon neutral by 2040 and we need everyone in Luton to help us achieve our goal. We’ve made carbon neutrality a priority locally, to help us tackle the global climate emergency that the planet is facing."
BUT the same Luton Borough Council are:
1. Owners of London Luton Airport Ltd, the company which operates Luton Airport. (see www.llal.org.uk/).
2. Supporters of a proposal to almost double passenger capacity for Luton Airport (from 18m/year to 32m/year).
They say "London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) which has a long record of providing financial support for important community activities and services...... This makes the airport vital for the council’s work to improve people’s lives, and bring new opportunity, aspiration and prosperity".