‘Guilt-free flying within our reach’ but still ‘decades away’ as government commits £113m to net-zero travel tech
Guilt-free net-zero flying is within our reach according to the government, as ministers invest £113m in new net-zero technology.
The DfT and BEIS have announced funding for aerospace companies such as Rolls-Royce and Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace to develop cutting-edge technologies, such as flying taxis and hydrogen-fuelled planes.
Rolls-Royce will receive almost £83m to develop liquid hydrogen gas turbines, while Vertical Aerospace will get £30.8m to continue working on flying taxis.
“As the whole world moves to greener forms of aviation, there is a massive opportunity for the UK’s aerospace industry to secure clean, green jobs and growth for decades to come,” said Grant Shapps, who today became energy security & net zero secretary in a cabinet reshuffle.
Matt Finch – UK policy manager at environmental NGO Transport & Environment – told City A.M. the government was still years away from net-zero flying.
“This is another step in the right direction towards decarbonising aviation, but ‘guilt free flying’ is still years, if not decades off,” he said.
Shapps’ words were nevertheless echoed by transport secretary Mark Harper, who said it was crucial to also make “the sector greener on the ground.”
The funding announcement coincides with the DfT launching a call for evidence, seeking views on how to get airports to reach their net-zero targets by 2040.
Through the consultation, which will run until 2 May, ministers seek to understand which hubs the target should apply to, as well as the challenges that could hinder the goal.