An open letter to local MPs Jeremy Hunt, Damian Hinds, Angela Richardson, Michael Gove, Jonathan Lord, Ranil Jayawardena, Leo Docherty and Ben Spencer:

Dear Honourable Members of Parliament,

I am writing to you in a personal capacity having had to step down as chair of Farnborough Noise Group following Surrey Police’s gagging order.

I see many of the replies from MPs and the DfT (including Baroness Vere) in response to letters from members of the public. 

There is a very concerning misunderstanding by leaders and I would like to correct this. SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) is touted as a solution to aviation’s emissions. IT IS NOT. One litre of SAF produces the same amount of CO2 as one litre of Jet A-1 fossil fuel.

The claim is that SAF is “green” is because some of it is made from plants that have captured carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But we are burning fuel at a far faster rate than plants can absorb the CO2, so putting any CO2 into the atmosphere from any source is making climate change worse.

An area the size of India would be needed to grow enough crops to make the SAF needed for aviation. Half of the UK’s agricultural land would be needed just to produce enough SAF. When leaders quote SAF as a solution, it shows that they don’t understand the science or they have been misled by the aviation industry.

There are no ways to reduce aviation’s emissions other than to reduce flying. SAF is just greenwashing. This is supported by independent and respected organisations such as The Royal Society. 

Even aviation research establishments are saying the same, so why are UK leaders misleading the public? I have seen the announcement today that the UK government is setting up a £150 million fund to support developing countries impacted by climate change… Yet the UK government subsidises aviation and private jets that are causing the climate change in the first place. It is madness!

Colin Shearn

The Reeds Road, Tilford