Write to your MP

The Green Party is the only political party opposed to airport expansion as a principle. Others are opposed to development at Heathrow (including all the London Mayoral candidates) but have not come out against development at Gatwick or elsewhere. The mainly Conservative MPs around Gatwick have vigorously opposed expansion at Gatwick - but most wouldn't object to seeing it go ahead at Heathrow (and some are vehemently in favour). This NIMBY attitude means that no one can win. We will all face the long term impacts of more carbon emissions, worse air quality, increased traffic and further concentration of intense development in the South East, at the expense of other parts of the country and other parts of the economy.

Please can you write to your MP before the middle of November in your own words about why airport expansion shouldn't go ahead. Please ask them to pass on your concerns to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP. There is also a second point we are asking you to raise with your MP.  Please can they put pressure on the government to get international aviation and shipping carbon emissions included properly in the Paris Agreement on carbon emissions.  Ask your MP also to pass your letter on to the Secretary of State at  DECC (the Department for Energy and Climate Change) to get a response from the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP.

Pointers for your letter

You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here (They Work for You website)


  • Climate change poses a real threat to the planet right now with evidence around the globe of damaging impacts being felt
  • Scientists predict 5o of warming by the end of the century if we don’t clamp down on carbon emissions – they say that 2o is the maximum rise possible before dangerous climate change
  • Aviation already makes a big contribution to the UK’s carbon emissions
  • More flights means more carbon emissions and we should not be committing to a substantial and irreversible change of that kind
  • Airports do not just have a localised impact – the effects are widely felt
  • If airports expand we will need to make carbon cuts elsewhere in the economy to meet our binding targets – how would that be achieved?
  • MPs should be supporting measures to reform aviation tax, creating a level playing field
  • A frequent flyer levy would discourage demand (15% of people make 70% of flights)
  • Although the Airports Commission has emphasised the economic benefits of expanding Heathrow, once carbon is factored in we could be looking at a £9bn loss
  • Ask your MP to oppose airport expansion wherever it is proposed
  • Call for the inclusion of aviation and international shipping in the agreement being discussed at the climate talks in Paris.
  • Read our mini report - which has more background information -here

More on the Paris talks

Seventeen European NGOs and environmental networks have written to Arias Cañete (European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy) in response to the announcement that the text calling for more ambition in limiting carbon emissions from international aviation and shipping has been dropped from the draft Paris Agreement on curbing global climate impacts. Read their letter.

Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming with shipping emitting 3% of global CO2, and their carbon emissions are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050. The group of 17 say they represent millions of concerned European citizens.  The NGOs' letter, which was also sent to the 28 EU Climate Ministers,  says these two sectors should not get exemptions not available to other sectors. As for other sectors, they should have targets for their carbon emissions.

The NGOs say the omission of these two large sectors, with their combined huge carbon emissions, would – if sustained – greatly undermine efforts to limit a global temperature increase to 1.5 to 2 degrees C. They are asking the European Commission to ensure that these two sectors are covered by the Paris Agreement, so that they make a fair contribution to the world’s shared objective of a sustainable, low-carbon future.

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