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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Plane landing on a runway

Aviation presents one of the greatest challenges to the achievement of Net Zero by 2050.  The development of effective policies supporting pathways to sustainable aviation are essential, given the scale of the technical, investment and infrastructure planning and construction challenges involved.  The research aims to understand the current policy making process in aviation, seek useful international comparators and drawing on the four areas of focus from the AIA’s Coronation Report (2024) and working with input from stakeholders to support AIA’s contribution towards the achievement of sustainable aviation.

About the project

Aviation is likely to be the largest emitting sector in the UK by 2050 (Climate Change Committee (2019)).  Although section 30 of the Climate Change Act 2008 (‘CCA2008’) excludes emissions from international aviation and shipping from the Net Zero target, international aviation emissions are now included in the Sixth Carbon Budget for the period 2033 – 2037. However, the Government’s aviation pathway under the Jet Zero Strategy (2022) assumes a 70% increase in passengers by 2050 against 2018 levels. The Climate Change Committee (‘CCC’), the independent advisor to Government appointed under the CCA2008, described this approach as “high risk’ for the period leading up to the Sixth Carbon Budget (CCC Progress Report 2023 page 267) and assessed the ability of the majority of current UK Government aviation related policies with respect to the Sixth Carbon budget as carrying ‘considerable risks’ (CCC 2023 Progress Report p267) and reliant on ‘nascent technologies’ (CCC Progress Report 2023 p267).  At present, it remains unclear how these disparities in Government policy and CCC advice will be resolved.  Jill’s work plans to contribute to resolving this through her research and engagement with stakeholders and Government policy makers.  


The research will focus on the process of sustainable aviation policy making, examining the interaction of key stakeholders, institutions, Government, communities and other interested parties and drawing on potential useful international comparators. Jill aims to support strategies aligned with the four ‘areas of change’ set out in the Aviation Impact Accelerator’s Coronation Report 2024, working with stakeholders, leading discussions and identifying opportunities to support the work of transformation of aviation to sustainability.


A blog and research paper will be produced.

Collaborators and funding

The work is generously supported by a philanthropic gift from Heathrow Airport. 

Jill Ashcroft Campion

Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow

‘I have a metaphor which.. I never published but kept for myself.  I call it thinking without a bannister. .. That is, as you go up and down the stairs you can always hold on to the bannister so that you don’t fall down.  But we have lost this bannister’

Hannah Arendt, 1972