Airlines need to lower carbon emissions when flights resume - PM Johnson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen at 10 Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 13, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - Airlines must take steps to keep carbon emissions down when flights resume so that the lower levels recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic can be entrenched, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

“Inadvertently, the planet this year will (have) greatly reduced its CO2 emissions ... we need to entrench those gains,” Johnson told parliament.

“I don’t want to see us going back to an era of the same type of emissions as we’ve had in the past. Aviation like every other sector must keep its carbon lower.”

He did not directly answer a question about whether airlines seeking financial support from the government would be required to meet specific climate goals in return for help.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Michael Holden, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison