I have written many times about my Green Winchester initiative which aims to give information about the defining issue of our time.

I’m not sure many of us needed reminding we’re in a climate emergency but, if we did, this week’s heatwave delivered.

The good people of Twyford were certainly keen to talk climate on Saturday when I attended their Green Fair. I am grateful to Alex, Maggie and all those who made suggestions for the Conservative Environment Network hustings event with the leadership candidates.

I made it clear with them all this issue was key for me and those I represent. And it was very clear Rishi Sunak has the authenticity on the subject, the commitment to our net zero target plus a firm grip on the detail of how we reasonably get there.

We are clear, growth in the economy is central to beating inflation and net zero is not about taking things away or wearing Becket’s hair shirt. It’s about opportunity and jobs.

One part of that is the new ‘Jet Zero’ strategy, which takes a giant leap towards sustainable aviation and guilt-free flying in the near future.

Not least with a successful airport nearby, in Southampton, that employs many either directly or indirectly, we should celebrate the growth of aviation: one of the great global connecting forces.

But for too long aviation’s success has come at the expense of the planet’s health, and it’s set to become one of the largest emitting sectors by 2050. This is a huge challenge for the UK but it’s also an opportunity.

It’s an opportunity to unlock the economic gains from green technology and the creation of thousands of skilled jobs. And it’s an opportunity for the UK to continue showing international leadership post COP26.

The Jet Zero Strategy sets a trajectory for the sector to reach net-zero by 2050. Its delivery will see UK aviation emissions reduce even further than the levels called for by our climate advisors – with a pathway that should see emissions never-again reach the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

We have set out several clear policy goals to support Jet Zero, including for UK domestic aviation and English airports to be net zero and zero-emission respectively by 2040.

We’ll also continue to support the industry as it strives for absolute zero emission flight. We've seen exciting progress on this front thanks to UK-based disruptors such as ZeroAvia, which achieved the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight in 2020.

Crucially, we will accelerate the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel and mandate their use throughout the industry. This sustainable aviation fuel mandate will start from 2025.

Supported by a further £165m funding, we are committing to see at least five sustainable aviation fuel plants under construction in the next three years. And we are making progress towards the first net zero transatlantic flight powered by 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel.

The Jet Zero Strategy is our response to the biggest challenge facing the industry in its history. Far from clipping the wings of the sector, it can secure aviation’s future. You can find the whole thing at stevebrine.com



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