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We won’t tackle climate change if we allow Heathrow or Gatwick to expand

news release

Commenting ahead of Tuesday’s (25 October 2016) government decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick airport, Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton, who lives under the Heathrow flightpath in west London said:

“We won’t tackle climate change if Heathrow or Gatwick airports are allowed to expand.

“Expanding airports anywhere will also cause more noise and air pollution, with millions of people under flightpaths facing hundreds of extra flights every day.

“Ministers must realise that signing the Paris agreement requires action too. We can’t keep giving the green light to climate-wrecking activities such as more flights and fracking.

“Whatever the decision, campaigners, communities and councils will continue the fight against airport expansion – and the pollution and misery this would bring.”

• Aviation makes up nearly 7% of the UK’s overall carbon emissions. Airport expansion is incompatible with reaching the Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees
• The case for airport expansion is very weak. Taken together, London’s five airports already serve more destinations than any other European city
• 15% of the UK population take about 70% of all flights. Friends of the Earth backs proposals for a frequent flyer levy to replace Air Passenger Duty.

Editor’s notes:

1. Friends of the Earth response to the Airport Commission Consultation.

2. Earlier this month a petition against Heathrow expansion, signed by over 9,000 people, was handed in to Downing Street by Friends of the Earth. Free-to-use photos of the petition hand-in are available here.

3. 15% of the UK population take about 70% of all flights [Campaign for Better Transport]

4. Friends of the Earth supports the scrapping of air passenger duty and replacing it with a new frequent flyers levy. Under the scheme Everyone would be able to take one flight a year without paying any levy, but for subsequent journeys the levy would rise each time.

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

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust


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