Local communities and individuals affected by the blight of airports and flight paths are invited to join together on September 12, at an event linking aviation expansion and climate change. The Green Party has joined forces with campaign groups at Heathrow, Gatwick and others in the South East and London to say “no new runways”.
This autumn MPs are being asked to choose between expanding Heathrow (favoured by the Airports Commission) or Gatwick airports and some MPs in Surrey and London are taking the opportunity to play off one against the other.
Jonathan Essex, Chair of South East Green Party, says: “That’s the wrong question. Either option – or expanding elsewhere - will prevent us from honouring binding national commitments to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, and will risk blighting millions of lives for generations to come”.
Christine Taylor of Stop Heathrow Expansion: “The devastation caused by a third runway at Heathrow will go far beyond the airport boundary. Climate change threatens everyone.”
Brendon Sewill of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign: “A decision to go ahead with a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would be a serious set-back for climate change policy. The cost would be paid by future generations.”
Speakers at the event at 2pm at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church include Keith Taylor MEP; Christine Taylor (Stop Heathrow Expansion); Brendon Sewill (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign); Leo Murray (A Free Ride); Greenpeace; Asad Rehman (Friends of the Earth).
Anyone interested in seeing off airport expansion once and for all can book here http://www.segreens.com/no_new_runways
Campaign partners include: Hacan; Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign; Stop Heathrow Expansion; Airport Watch; CAGNE; Friends of the Earth; Greenpeace
Notes to editors: any media wanting to attend on September 12 or to have more information nearer the time please get in touch
The Real Choice: Expand Aviation or Act on Climate Change
Please can you write to your MP - visit the briefing page
The Green Party is campaigning to stop airport expansion in light of the upcoming decision being presented to MPs on whether airport expansion should take place at Heathrow or Gatwick. The Green Party believes that no decision can be made on where a new runway could be built until a full assessment has been made of whether this is possible, given our Government’s legal responsibilities to tackle climate change and pollution.
On July 1st 2015, the Airports Commission recommended that Heathrow would be the best place for airport expansion to take place. But it also said that Gatwick presents “a plausible case for expansion”. The Airports Commission had previously been briefed by David Cameron to make recommendations on economic grounds for expansion in the South East. Early on it ruled out other options, including no new runway, and now it is presenting MPs with a choice between Heathrow and Gatwick. Decisions are due to be taken this autumn (2015) but the process is unclear.
The Greens and NGOs concerned with the impacts of aviation say this is a false choice: the climate costs are just too high. Rather than committing the UK to an ever more intensive reliance on fossil fuels, Parliament should be looking seriously at how we transition to low carbon alternatives to maintain the UK’s connectivity. The Greens and many NGOs concerned with climate change are therefore calling for “no new runways” and asking MPs to vote for “none of the above”.
On September 12 the Greens organised a No New Runways event in London with many of the key campaign groups. We were delighted to have Sian Berry, the Green's London Mayor candidate, chairing part of the event as her first official engagement. Thanks also go to all the speakers for informative and inspiring talks.
The resources from the event and campaign briefing materials all appear here on the My Green Party website (for Green Party members).
The latest Green Party mini report on airport expansion can be found here
There is a shorter campaign briefing here.
Below you can view videos of some of the speakers at the September 12th event. Photographer Fiona Essex has invited you to view any other of the speakers from the event on her YouTube channel.
Now (October - November 2015) is a critical time to write to your MP. Please can you help with that? See the briefing page.