Campaign Groups send joint letter
With the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Graying due to make a decision on airport expansion in the South East at 12.30pm today, campaign groups concerned about climate change sent a joint letter to The Guardian.
"The government’s decision to greenlight aviation expansion is a predictable failure, but not an acceptable one. With the scrapping of vital decarbonisation policies and funding, the UK is already way off-track to meet our climate change commitments. The impacts of any new runway will be devastating to people’s lives and to the planet. Locally it will see the demolition of hundreds of homes, result in increased noise pollution, and illegal levels of air pollution – already responsible for almost 10,000 premature deaths in London every year.
"But the biggest tragedy of the government’s failure is a global one. Only around 5% of the world’s population flies at all, yet the impacts of climate change – droughts, floods and heatwaves – are already hitting poorer communities in the global south, who are the least likely to ever set foot on a plane.
"The push for more runway space is not about demand from business – that has been dropping for over a decade. Nor is it about people taking one or two annual holidays. Growth is being driven by the frequent leisure flyers taking weekend breaks and shopping trips by plane. Half of the UK population don’t fly in any given year, yet all of us subsidise the holidays of the rich.
"The UK must not abandon our commitments under the Paris agreement and the Climate Change Act for the convenience of binge flyers. We will not allow our government to ignore the promises they have made to us and to the world."
Craig Bennett CEO, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Nicky Bull Chair, Operation Noah, Amy Cameron Director, 10:10, Sarah Clayton Coordinator, AirportWatch, Peter Deane Biofuelwatch, Bill Hemmings Director, aviation and shipping, European Federation for Transport and Environment, Claire James Campaigns coordinator, Campaign Against Climate Change, Rosalie James Chair, Aircraft Noise 3 Villages (Lightwater, Windlesham & Bagshot), Tim Johnson Director, Aviation Environment Federation, James MacColl Head of campaigns, Campaign for Better Transport, Kara Moses Environment editor, Red Pepper, Leo Murray Director, Fellow Travellers, Danielle Paffard UK divestment campaigner, 350.org, John Sauven Executive director, Greenpeace UK, Kia Trainor Director, CPRE Sussex, Anna Vickerstaff Co-director, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Vivienne Westwood Climate Revolution, Peter Willan Chair, Richmond Heathrow Campaign, Rob Barnstone, Campaign coordinator, Stop Heathrow Expansion and six others