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XII.c International aviation Costs

The 2050 Calculator includes all emissions which count towards the UK’s 2050 target. The only exception is international aviation and shipping: the Government has yet to decide whether this will contribute towards the UK’s 2050 target; however for illustrative purposes this sector has been included in the Calculator in the meantime.

costs summary

Click here for International Aviation cost data

Table 1. Implied abatement cost from level 1 (£/tCO2e)

2007 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050
Level 1 - - - - - - - - - -
Level 2 - - -10 -10 -21 -32 -39 -48 -52 -59
Level 3 - - -10 13 16 20 19 19 16 12
Level 4 - - 331 173 112 48 248 161 300 140

Click here to see the workings and assumptions behind this marginal abatement cost data

Costs Methodology

Methodology used

Both the illustrative scenarios and associated costs used in the 2050 Calculator are based on the results of a study assessing the options for reducing UK aviation CO2 emissions to 2050, published by DfT in August 2011[1]. Full details of the methodology used to derive these cost estimates can be found in the published report. At this stage the 2050 Calculator only includes point estimates for the incremental costs of moving between the international aviation scenarios. We have used these as our “default” costs. We will explore using a range to reflect the uncertainty surrounding these estimates in future revisions to the 2050 Calculator.

As we do not have total costs data, we have assumed that costs at level 1 are zero, and applied the incremental costs for levels 2, 3 and 4.

Users should be aware that whereas the Calculator includes total costs for all other technologies, for international aviation we only have incremental costs. Therefore when looking at total costs of pathways in the Web Tool, be aware that this will be a slight underestimate because it will not reflect the full international aviation costs. However note that this omission of costs ceases to be a problem if users look at the incremental cost of one pathway over and above any pathway in which international aviation is set at level 1; in this instance, it will be a true reflection of incremental costs.


Lead and sign-off 2050 Costs team lead - Sophie Hartfield

  1. Available at: For the purposes of the 2050 Calculator, the mid-strength of each option has been used to create the alternative pathways