Campaigners label Heathrow’s new “Sustainability” strategy as “patently underwhelming” in…

campaigners-label-heathrow’s-new-“sustainability”-strategy-as-“patently-underwhelming”-in…

Campaigners label Heathrow’s new “Sustainability” strategy as “patently underwhelming” in…

Campaigners label Heathrow’s new “Sustainability” strategy as “patently underwhelming” in its ambitions, or plans for action
2022-02-15 19:14:00
Heathrow has announced its updated environmental “sustainability” strategy, called “Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet”.  It wants to do a bit to encourage wildlife near the airport (not birds of course, as they get killed or deterred for safety …) and get airlines to use allegedly “sustainable aviation fuel” (SAF).  Lots of hope …. The “elephant in the room” of their rising carbon emissions from flights, is not properly addressed. Local campaign, the No 3rd Runway Coalition, consider the strategy to be  “patently underwhelming” and the “goals to reduce emissions are pifflingly small…”  Heathrow has unrealistic hopes of “decarbonising” flights, and also “improving the area around the airport for those who live and work in it’.  Heathrow wants to cut “at least 45% of on the ground emissions” which make up about 5% of the total. The increased use of SAF, which is only available in tiny amounts, would need government assistance, says Heathrow. Stop Heathrow Expansion says the plan ‘does not deliver for communities around the airport’ and does not offer any real commitments to end ‘highly disruptive night flights’ , instead of better restrictions on flights between 11pm and 7am. .Tweet   This is their Net Zero plan https://www.heathrow.com/content/dam/heathrow/web/common/documents/company/heathrow-2-0-sustainability/futher-reading/Heathrow%20Net%20Zero%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf CAMPAIGNERS LABEL HEATHROW PLAN ‘PATENTLY UNDERWHELMING’ By Áine McGinty Thu, Feb 10, 2022 Heathrow Airport’s updated environmental sustainability strategy released on 10th February has been labeled ‘patently underwhelming’ by campaigners from the No 3rd Runway Coalition. The airport this week released its plan for the decade ahead – Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet. The programme of work outlines how the airport will build back better with, they say, ‘sustainability front of mind’. The airport’s plan sets out what they are calling ‘an ambitious series of goals over the next decade to tackle the growing climate emergency, decarbonise flight and continue to improve the area around the airport for those who live and work in it’. Heathrow say their ambition is to ensure 2019 was the year of peak carbon at the airport. Through the strategy, Heathrow has committed to two ‘industry-leading goals to cut carbon by 2030’ – cutting up to 15% of carbon from flights compared with 2019 and reducing at least 45% of on the ground emissions. Heathrow 2.0 also commits the airport to a UK airport first, introducing a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) based incentives programme for airlines, encouraging their partners to invest in SAF, reducing their carbon footprint and helping to hit carbon reduction targets. They say the government will need to work with them to support the delivery of Heathrow 2.0 by injecting pace into their SAF policy making and supporting the airport’s case for a regulatory settlement from the Civil Aviation Authority, which enables the necessary investment to achieve the commitments set out in their plan. Over this decade, Heathrow 2.0 also commits the airport to, over this decade, moving Heathrow towards becoming Zero Waste, introducing an airside ultra-low emission zone by 2025 and generating at least £6.5m in funds for the independent Heathrow Community Trust charity. Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The launch of our refreshed Heathrow 2.0 strategy is a landmark moment in our sustainability journey, one which accelerates the shift in our industry towards a greener future. Decisive action needs to be taken this decade to remain on track for net zero and 2.0 sets out the roadmap to get us there. Not only will we cut carbon, but our ambitious strategy will maintain Heathrow’s leadership in innovation, social mobility and community engagement.” The No 3rd Runway Coalition has criticised the sustainability commitments stating that the plan includes ‘no analysis of which delivery mechanisms will be required to achieve it’ as well as a lack of analysis of ‘prospective dates when new aircraft, which could help achieve the SAF target, might be introduced to the fleet’. Turnover of the aircraft fleet is, of course, campaigners stress, wholly outside of Heathrow’s control. In addition, any of the targets requiring financial commitments are contingent on what the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), permits Heathrow to raise by way of increases to Heathrow passenger charges. The CAA recently disallowed an increase requested by Heathrow. A second anti-expansion group, Stop Heathrow Expansion, has also criticised the plan stating that despite the airport’s claim, the plan ‘does not deliver for communities around the airport’. They have pointed out that the plan fails to offer any real commitments to end ‘highly disruptive night flights’ saying that Heathrow could demonstrate its commitments to providing a better environment for local residents by imposing its own reduction in these flights, between the hours of 11pm and 7am. Heathrow, however, claim they are introducing measures which will minimise noise, improve local air quality and invest more in the airport’s local communities. They also commit to developing a Nature Positive Airport Plan to continue to strengthen and showcase biodiversity management at the airport and launching a new Giving Back Programme detailing their community investment strategy and volunteering programmes that will benefit at least 1 million residents. Heathrow has also announced the launch of its Sustainable Travel Zone, a network of subsidised travel routes to and from the airport. Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “These goals to reduce emissions are pifflingly small in the limited areas where the airport could make a difference, and only ambitious in respect of technological

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