Airport is hiding behind smokescreen

15th November 2007
news
release

A coalition of groups in Manchester have today dismissed Manchester Airport’s carbon neutral aspirations as a smokescreen to deflect attention from the impact of aviation on climate change. Manchester Climate Action, Plane Stupid, Manchester Friends of the Earth and the Green Party have come together to ensure that a focus is maintained on the Airport’s expansion plans which cast a huge shadow over what they see to be an attempt at downplaying their environmental impact.

The Environment Plan which is one of the documents of the Airport’s ‘Master Plan’ contains the detail about ground transport, electricity, heating and lighting, water use and noise, setting out plans until 2030. Although the plans claim that the airport will become carbon neutral, the emissions from planes in the air are not included. Flying already accounts for 13% of the UK’s global warming which will increase to at best 70% and at worst 110% of our UK emissions quota in 2030, if the aviation industry is allowed to expand as per current plans.

Vanessa Hall, a City Councillor and member of Manchester Climate Action and the Green Party said:

“It is no coincidence that this announcement is coming out on the same day as the Debate on Aviation which we challenged the Airport to attend. They can change as many light bulbs as they like but that doesn’t stop Manchester Airport producing double the emissions of Uganda. The Airport are attempting to deceive the public by ignoring the emissions from aircraft. What is an airport for if not flying?”

Robbie Gillett from Plane Stupid said:

“We didn’t blockade the Airport because of lack of energy efficient light bulbs. Ignoring flight emissions from carbon calculations is a classic piece of industry greenwash.”

Graeme Sherriff, Transport Campaigner in Manchester Friends of the Earth, said:

“The airport has to take responsibility for the emissions from the plane flights it facilitates and encourages. To be truly sustainable it must abandon its aggressive expansion plans, refuse to operate domestic flights, and cease to overestimate its importance to the region’s economy.”

The Great Aviation Debate takes place on Thursday 15th November, at the Friends Meeting House, from 7.30pm. More information available from the contacts above.

ENDS