8: Jet Zero

The Jet Zero Council was formed in 2020 as a collaboration between government, airports and plane manufacturers, in order to present a green image. It’s also a way for the industry to attract government funding. 

Boris Johnson has spoken of Jet Zero delivering commercial transatlantic flight producing no carbon emissions by 2025 (Autumn 2020, as part of the 10-point ‘Green Industrial Revolution’). However, like many such aspirations it’s very short on believable content, and many experts have dismissed it as a gimmick at best. Notably, there is nothing on the Jet Zero website about a 2025 target, and the minutes of the meeting in July attended by Mr Johnson note that ‘a 2025 target is challenging’, which sounds like a euphemism (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935604/jet-zero-council-meeting-minutes-22-july-2020.pdf).

 It’s a great aspiration in the right direction, but the reality is that there is no technology in existence that could potentially fly long haul without emissions. If a viable form of long-haul zero-carbon aviation is invented, it will then take 15 years from design to operation, for architecting, rig testing, demo testing and certification testing. This is the standard timescale in airplane development.

The Jet Zero Council was formed in 2020 as a collaboration between government, airports and plane manufacturers, in order to present a green image. It’s also a way for the industry to attract government funding. 

Boris Johnson has spoken of Jet Zero delivering commercial transatlantic flight producing no carbon emissions by 2025 (Autumn 2020, as part of the 10-point ‘Green Industrial Revolution’). However, like many such aspirations it’s very short on believable content, and many experts have dismissed it as a gimmick at best. Notably, there is nothing on the Jet Zero website about a 2025 target, and the minutes of the meeting in July attended by Mr Johnson note that ‘a 2025 target is challenging’, which sounds like a euphemism (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935604/jet-zero-council-meeting-minutes-22-july-2020.pdf).

 It’s a great aspiration in the right direction, but the reality is that there is no technology in existence that could potentially fly long haul without emissions. If a viable form of long-haul zero-carbon aviation is invented, it will then take 15 years from design to operation, for architecting, rig testing, demo testing and certification testing. This is the standard timescale in airplane development.