Harvie concerned that airport expansion threatens climate change targets
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT support for Heathrow airport expansion threatens its own climate justice principles based on phoney job statistics, according to Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP.
The Tory Government gave the green light to a third runway at Heathrow this week, a project which has split the party – and led to protests over environmental fears.
The Scottish Government also backed the proposal following extensive lobbying by Heathrow, who promised substantial economic benefits from the deal.
“It would leave thousands of people’s homes too noisy and too polluted to live in, and leave tens of thousands more suffering the indirect health effects.” Patrick Harvie
Harvie, whose party oppose airport expansion, challenged Nicola Sturgeon on the issue at first minister’s questions today [Thursday 27 October].
“A third runway would cause a quarter of a million extra flights a year, a massive increase into emissions, [and be] the single biggest threat to the whole UK meeting its climate change targets,” Harvie said.
“It would leave thousands of people’s homes too noisy and too polluted to live in, and leave tens of thousands more suffering the indirect health effects.”
Sturgeon added that if policies “increase emissions in aviation then we have to work harder to reduce emissions in other areas in order to meet our overall targets.”
Harvie dismissed the jobs projection as “completely spurious”, comparing lobbyist research to the claims surrounding Donald Trump’s golf courses.
Sturgeon pointed out that the Scottish Government met its climate emissions targets early, and aimed to reduce climate emissions in conduction with a wider ‘pro-connectivity’ strategy.
Environmental campaigners like Friends of the Earth Scotland have warned that supporting airport expansion undermines the government’s support for climate justice.
SNP transport spokesperson at Westminster Drew Henry MP has called on the Tory government to end its “indecisiveness” over Heathrow and push ahead with the airport expansion. The SNP also plan a 50 per cent tax cut for the aviation industry, and hope to eventually get rid of air passenger duty (APD) all together.
Picture courtesy of Scottish Parliament TV
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