As talks get underway at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow this week, ADS brought together UK Aerospace leaders to discuss how the sector could become a world leader in developing and manufacturing the next generation aviation technology.

ADS hosted its Pre-COP26 event in London, “Delivering a Sustainable Future: The Runway to COP26”, at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers last week, which discussed the issues behind achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The event was organised in association with BCG.

Speakers included the Chief Technology Officers (CTO) of seven major international aerospace manufacturers, the next generation of UK industry talent, and ADS members across the defence sector and supply chain.

UK “can and should lead the world” in technology development

The CTOs discussed the global industry strategy to achieving a net zero aerospace and aviation sector by 2050, including deployment of sustainable aviation fuels, and gave an update on their progress since their joint statement at the 2019 Paris Airshow.

ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven called for a joint effort by Government and industry to secure investment and support development of aerospace technology in the UK which he said already possessed the capabilities to meet carbon reduction targets:

“The UK can and should lead the world in developing and manufacturing the technology that will achieve net zero aviation. We are home to the expertise, the capabilities and the future talent we need to succeed.”

“But we must be ambitious in our approach, living on past glory is not sufficient. Achieving our net zero goals requires huge industry investment that will secure thousands of high value jobs, create centres of excellence in technological development, and ensure the prosperity of communities in every part of the country.”

“Industry and Government must work together to accelerate progress towards the 2050 goals. This joint investment is vital to levelling up our economy, and to making sure Global Britain leads the aerospace technological revolution to achieve net zero for the sake of our future generations.”

Whole industry commitment needed to reach targets

Sabine Krauke, CTO at Airbus added: “I think we’ve just really strengthened our commitment that we have taken already in 2019 and I think the call for action today is ‘the future is now, let’s go for it.’”

Haldane Dodd, Acting Executive Director at ATAG said a whole industry commitment was needed to achieve the targets: “Net zero by 2050 is a goal, new goal for aviation with greater ambition than we had before. We need all parts of the industry to play their role in making that happen. It’s not just airlines, it’s not just airports, it’s the entire ecosystem.”

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