Airport expansion will undermine UK climate action, warns Friends of the Earth

1st July 2015

Commenting ahead of Wednesday’s (1 July 2015) Davies Commission report which is expected to recommend airport expansion at either Gatwick or Heathrow, Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said:  “It’s simply not credible for the Government to build a new runway in the South East and still claim to be serious about tackling climate change.

“Airport expansion will also have huge impacts on the local community, noise levels and air quality.

“We can’t preach to the world about stopping catastrophic climate change on the one hand and send aviation emissions soaring on the other.”


Notes to editors:

1. The case for expanding airport capacity is extremely weak. Taken together London’s five major airports serve more destinations than any other European city – over 360 with at least a weekly service – see here (section 2.5)

2. The Committee on Climate Change says 37.5Mt CO2 is an appropriate cap for the UK’s aviation emissions in 2050 to fit with the Climate Change Act.

However even if capped at the level the CCC suggests:

•   aviation emissions would represent a quarter of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2050

   other sectors would have to cut emissions by 85% rather than the average 80% needed overall by 2050

For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust