Environment and Sustainability


BALPA wants to see a thriving future for the aviation sector in the UK, one that provides jobs for
our members and mobility for our population. Yet we are in the midst of a climate crisis and have a
moral and legal obligation to ensure our future is a sustainable one. A careful balance needs to be

To achieve further carbon savings in a timely way an unprecedented rate of change and innovation
is required. It is imperative that the UK Government act quickly and decisively to place the UK at
the forefront of this change and avert the risk of enforced limits on flying. 

 BALPA Position

BALPA welcomes the publication of the Government’s 2022 Jet Zero Strategy with its carbon reduction and sustainable fuel blending targets. Policy in sustainable aviation is moving ahead at a great pace and with a level of ambition that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

However, we have identified key areas where we feel the strategy does not meet its ambition, or unacceptable risks exist:
  1. The critically important subject of non-CO2 effects is not suitably addressed: There is no doubt that persistent contrails and aviation induced cloudiness are aviation's major cause of global warming. Despite some uncertainty, consensus is now that the effect is approximately double that of CO2. Mitigating action is now required, with Government ideally having a key leadership role in implementation.
  2. Reliance on Carbon Capture and Storage is a huge risk: Holding the UK aviation industry to a target that relies so heavily on unproven CCS puts our future at risk. We need to understand the mitigations that will be taken if the strategy fails.
  3. Lack of a holistic cross-economy energy model: The UK needs a comprehensive green energy strategy that recognises and balances the likely massive demand for renewable energy from sustainable aviation.
  4. Some new funding, but not nearly enough: Our sector needs far more Government support to make the difficult and expensive transition to sustainability. Made quickly, such investment will pay dividends by placing the UK aeronautical industry at the head of a global movement.

BALPA’s full response to the Strategy can be found here.

BALPA’s interim environment position paper, published prior to the publication of the Strategy, set out in more detail what we believe must be done to achieve these goals: this largely remains valid.