Examination of Witnesses (Questions 795-799)|
WEDNESDAY 2 APRIL 2003
795. I apologise for keeping you waiting. Can
I ask you to identify yourselves for the record?
(Professor Hoskins) I am Brian Hoskins.
(Professor Ekins) I am Paul Ekins.
796. Professors, do you have anything to say
to start the session or would you like to go straight to questions?
(Professor Hoskins) We would like to give a little
bit of background to the report we wrote. Last year, around this
time, we were thinking about what our next major report would
be and we considered that we had many things to say about aviation
and we certainly felt with the discussion that was around in the
country this was concentrating very much on the local airport
issues. We felt there was an important message that was not being
discussed, which was the more global issues, the large scale issues,
and we felt that if we were really going to influence policy in
this area we could not do our usual large report, our weighty
one, which takes about 18 months, so we had to do a shorter version.
We then announced this in July last year and produced our first
report of this sort within five months of that, last November.
That is what we did. We were able to do this partly because there
was a very authoritative International IPCC Report and also because
we had the expertise on the Commission. We are not saying the
local issues are not important, they are important, but we were
trying to highlight the larger scale issues we felt were being
797. That is helpful. What contributions do
total climate change emissions, UK national and international
(Professor Hoskins) If we take the Treasury figures
in the background document to their consultation on aviation and
the environment they encapsulate quite nicely that UK aviation
contributes about 5% of the UK carbon emissions. It is projected
in 2020 to take about 11% of those emissions and then an important
thing to bear in mind in all of this is that aviation for its
sins has a bigger effect on climate than almost any other thing
we do because there is this multiplication factor that the carbon
alone is not sufficient to tell you the impact on climate. There
is a factor of about 2.7 which gives its real effect on the greenhouse
effect, and that contrasts with most other areas of activity that
have an effect about half that. The suggestion from those figure
is that by 2020 about 22% of the UK's greenhouse impact will be
associated with aviation, so about one quarter of the UK's impact
on climate change will come from aviation: the carbon emissions
from this sector will have grown over a period when we are trying
to decrease them overall.
798. Can you quantify the difference between
that and, for example, surface transport?
(Professor Hoskins) Currently aviation is about 18%
of surface transport. By the time we get up to a few decades hence
certainly in their greenhouse impact they will be comparable.
(Professor Hoskins) Yes, in their greenhouse impact
with the figures that are around, that is the sort of situation
we will be reaching. In terms of the carbon emissions they might
be half or somewhat less, but in terms of the total impact they
will be getting comparable.