Airport expansion and UK climate policy: a mess that needs…

airport-expansion-and-uk-climate-policy:-a-mess-that-needs…

Airport expansion and UK climate policy: a mess that needs…

Airport expansion and UK climate policy: a mess that needs urgent attention
2022-03-31 14:17:00
The IPCC report of 28th February was clear that action has to be taken, fast, to reduce carbon emissions, if there is to be a “liveable future” for all.  Carbon emissions should halve by 2030, to give the world a chance of not increasing the temperature more than 1.5C above pre-industrial. But with the eyes of the world on the war in Ukraine, it did no get the reporting and the discussion it deserved.  Airports in the UK (and elsewhere) continue to plan, not only for more flights and passengers, but for more infrastructure to enable yet more expansion. The UK is currently not on track to meet its 4th and 5th carbon budgets, going up to 2032. The government’s climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee, say “there is no room for airport expansions”.  Local authorities say the carbon emissions from the expansion are not their problem but for national government to decide. But the UK still has no policy on aviation carbon, assessed across all airports. National planning policy guidance for local councils about climate change and aviation is out of date and contradictory, with airports claiming the law encourages them to “make best use of” existing infrastructure. Proper joined up policy is needed quickly. See full piece by Nick Hodgkinson .Tweet   Airport expansion and UK climate policy: a mess that needs urgent attention This post is by Nick Hodgkinson of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport. 28 March, 2022 Author: Green Alliance Blog “The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable future for all.” So says the IPCC report published on 28 February 2022. Yet, airports around the UK, and their greenhouse gas emissions, are being allowed to expand. Why? In January 2020, the owners of Leeds Bradford Airport submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council seeking permission for changes that would allow them to increase the airport’s passenger numbers by 75 per cent, from four million to seven million per year. The airport claimed this would mean 1,500 new jobs. It would also mean 16,000 more flights annually and – depending on how you calculate them – the airport’s greenhouse gas emissions would more or less double by 2030. “There is no room for airport expansions” The IPCC has warned that by 2030 all emissions must be halved to retain a chance of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5oC and securing “a liveable future”. The UK is currently off track to meet its fourth and fifth carbon budgets which set targets for emissions reductions. This means, in the words of Climate Change Committee’s (CCC’s) chair Lord Deben, “there is no room for airport expansions”. But on 11 February 2021, fourteen Leeds planning committee councillors approved the Leeds Bradford Airport expansion by nine votes to five, less than two years after Leeds City Council had declared a climate emergency. The Leeds local planning committee, like others around the country, took the view that curbing aviation emissions is a matter for national governm

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