Charities lament the effect of Heathrow lobbying as third runway gets the go-ahead
ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGNERS against climate change have come out against the UK Government’s decision to add a third runway to Heathrow Airport, describing it as “incompatible” with tackling climate change.
Their comments followed the decision by UK transport secretary Chris Grayling to expand the airport’s facilities.
Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) also criticised the influence exerted by Heathrow officials’ lobbying on party conferences.
“Governments should instead be making serious investment instead in train and bus networks linking key cities across the UK.” Dr Richard Dixon
Speaking to CommonSpace, Dr Richard Dixon director of FoES said: "Supporting a new runway at Heathrow is incompatible with serious action on climate change. Emissions from aviation are already 7 per cent of the UK total and another runway will lead to more flights and increasing damage to the climate.
“Any increase in emissions from more flights into Scotland would have to be compensated with even sharper reductions in other sectors of the economy.
“Heathrow cannot possibly deliver on all the jobs and economic benefits it has promised. Their public relations onslaught across the country and at party conferences has fooled many of those who should know better.”
“A third runway will mean an extra quarter of a million flights a year and will make noise and air pollution levels intolerable, unacceptable and probably illegal.” Nic Ferriday
Earlier in the summer several Scottish politicians including MSPs contributed to an open letter supporting the expansion of a runway at Heathrow suggesting it would lead to 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships.
Dixon added: “We need to get realistic about an aviation industry that has for too long escaped any serious action to cut its climate impact. Governments should instead be making serious investment instead in train and bus networks linking key cities across the UK.”
The SNP’s reaction was summed up by the party’s transport spokesperson Drew Henry MP who expressed the party’s support for the runway expansion but lamented the government’s “indecisiveness”.
“Any increase in emissions from more flights into Scotland would have to be compensated with even sharper reductions in other sectors of the economy.” Dr Richard Dixon
The Green party spokesperson for transport and rural economy John Finnie MSP criticised the Scottish Government’s stance on Heathrow stating that the expansion does “nothing for advance social justice.” The Greens also emphasise that only wealthy fliers will benefit from the decision.
Keith Brown the economy minister for the Scottish Government previously said that the UK Government’s decision on Heathrow would lead to 16,000 jobs for Scotland.
Also speaking to CommonSpace, Nic Ferriday, spokesperson for FoE in West London, added: “A third runway will mean an extra quarter of a million flights a year and will make noise and air pollution levels intolerable, unacceptable and probably illegal.
“But those of us on the ground left to suffer the consequences of Heathrow expansion also care about the impact that so many more flights will have on climate change. We will fight it every step of the way.”
Picture courtesy of Curt Smith
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