This is another example of the complete disconnect between the Government’s legal commitments on climate change – they are bound to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 as a result of the excellent Climate Change Act – but seem intent on building climate damaging infrastructure like new runways.
The Woodland Trust is concerned about airport expansion for two reasons – firstly it will destroy irreplaceable ancient woods for example 19 hectares of ancient woodland are under threat at Stansted but we also recognise that climate change is the biggest long term threat to our ancient woods.
A couple of years back the Government’s own consultation on The Future of Aviation stated, “the contribution of aviation to climate change was 3.5 per cent of the global total from all human activities. By comparison, the UK’s total contribution is 2.5 per cent.” The Government itself it seems recognises that climate change emissions from aviation need be controlled if we are to be able to tackle carbon emissions. But the same Government has decided that airport expansion should be pursued at all costs – a new runway at Heathrow, another at Stansted and no real control of the emissions from the sector.
I do wonder what planet the Department for Transport officials and ministers think we’re all going to move to. Last year they decided untramelled growth at Stansted was a good idea and now we have this decision.
So what can we do? One of the most interesting suggestions so far has been Greenpeace’s purchase of an area of land in the middle of the site of the planned new runway – they are giving pieces of the land away to people. Check out their Airplot website and sign up for your own piece of the land.
You can also support Stop Stansted Expansion in their fight to stop the plans for a new runway in Essex.