Supply chain spotlight: Greener skies ahead

By Alexandra Herdman, public policy manager, Logistics UK

Photo: Shutterstock

The Scottish Government is a leader in setting climate change targets, having committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

To determine how to meet its net-zero target while continuing to receive the social and economic benefits of air travel, the Scottish Government intends to produce an aviation strategy for the first time and recently launched a consultation to seek views on how to realise its vision for aviation.

Logistics UK contributed to the response, noting the work that is already underway with airlines which are continuously upgrading their fleets. New planes are much more fuel efficient and have quieter engines, the use of biofuels or jet fuel created from waste energy is increasing and ground operations are moving quickly towards becoming carbon neutral.

Logistics UK also highlighted that it would support any Scottish Government incentives to develop sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and zero emission flights. SAFs are cost-prohibitive and any advances that can be made to reduce production costs would increase the market use and ultimately reduce emissions sooner rather than later.

Scotland faces specific geographical challenges relating to location and accessibility, especially among the Scottish islands, and in its response Logistics UK urged that its freight transport and logistics links are organised and structured to prevent this geographical peripherality becoming an economic challenge. Unlike the UK, Scotland is a net exporter, exporting more than it imports. This is mainly due to its food and whisky exports to global markets, with much of Scotland’s airfreight trucked to, and flown out of, Heathrow Airport or East Midlands Airport.

It is therefore important to recognise the importance of maintaining and improving Scotland’s trunk road network, to ensure connectivity with the rest of the UK and beyond. Logistics UK will continue to support this and feed into government agency Transport Scotland’s Strategic Transport Projects Review, which ultimately feeds into the National Transport Strategy.

There is no one size fits all solution to decarbonising aviation, and Logistics UK is encouraged that the aviation strategy will consider both the short term and long term goals, and will adapt in response to emerging trends and technological developments. Logistics UK eagerly anticipates the outcome of the consultation and looks forward to continuing to support the Scottish Government as they look to achieve net-zero.

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