As I mentioned here previously, the Government’s decision to allow expansion of passenger numbers at Stansted is a shocking indictment of their short-sighted and incoherent approach to climate change and aviation. Geoff Hoon and Hazel Blears even went as far as to say that they “afford little weight” to the Climate Change Bill. This is the same Climate Change Bill that was recently amended to increase the targets for CO2 emissions cuts and also saw Ed Miliband applauded from all sides for taking some action on aviation and shipping emissions.
On one hand the Government recognises the seriousness of climate change and be committed to tackling it while on the other the Department for Transport seems happy to put its head in the sand while approving massive expansion of aviation emissions. Something doesn’t quite add up.
Stop Stansted Expansion have lodged an appeal with the High Court today to challenge three aspects of the Government’s decision to approve the extra 10 million passengers a year and the related extra flights:
1. that the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions, however substantial, can be disregarded in the decision to approve the extra flights;
2. that the economic impact on the UK trade deficit, however adverse, can be disregarded;
3. that the adverse noise impacts upon local residents and people living further afield cannot amount to a reason for refusal because to do so would frustrate Government policy.
Read Stop Stansted Expansion’s announcement here
This action is supported by the Woodland Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Aviation Environment Federation, HACAN Clear Skies [Heathrow], enoughsenough.org, Plane Stupid, Ramblers Association, We Can, World Development Movement and World Wildlife Fund.
Stop Stansted Expansion are a group of local people committed to stopping unsustainable and uneccessary expansion of the airport – the Woodland Trust has been a long time supporter of this group and I encourage everyone to get involved in this cause. You can support them in this appeal through their website.