In 2009 the Committee on Climate Change published a report on an investigation into whether carbon-reduction targets could be met WHILST expanding the aviation sector. This often seems to be obviously impossible to the casual observer.
Their study suggests that actually it is just about possible: they conclude that it is possible for aviation to expand 60% by 2050 and with cuts in all other areas to still reach the "80% by 2050" cut that the government has pledged (and made legally binding.)
To keep growth to only 60% would require steep carbon pricing, eg £200/t CO2 by 2050, AND a tax on aviation, and a shift to other means of transport where possible, and some other assumptions.
However, building the third runway to increase the capacity at Heathrow, as long as capacity is not increased at other airports, will not cause this target to be missed.
So they conclude.
What do we think about this?