Green MEPs for London and the South East have slammed the Government's 'climate destructive' revised Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), recommending Heathrow expansion, in a joint submission to the consultation closing today.
Keith Taylor, South East MEP and a member of the European Parliament's Transport and Environment Committees, and Jean Lambert, MEP for London, attacked the Airports NPS for failing to make a clear case for the need for airport expansion in the UK while omitting mention of several key environmental concerns.
In response to the consultation, Keith Taylor MEP said:
"From the underlying assumptions in the consultation to the omission of several environmental concerns, including expansion impacts on Special Areas of Conservation and waterbirds in the South East, this consultation is as fundamentally flawed as the case for airport expansion itself."
Jean Lambert MEP added:
“Despite what the exceedingly what well-funded PR machines of Heathrow and Gatwick airports would have you believe, the UK doesn’t have an airport capacity crisis. Britain is already amongst the most frequent flyers in the world and every airport but one is operating under capacity. The cases put forward by Gatwick and Heathrow to solve the manufactured ‘crisis’ rely on vastly inflated job creation predictions and hinge on a dubious demand assumptions.”
"The Government’s own air quality analysis must rule out a third runway at Heathrow. But with the Gatwick airport PR machine already whirring into action, it’s also worth pointing out that the only option is no new runways. Aviation is a top ten global polluter and emissions from the heavily subsidised industry are set to balloon by 300% if action is not taken sooner rather than later. Not accounting for any airport expansion, emissions from aviation are already expected to use up more than two-thirds of the UK’s carbon budget by 2050. At the same time, the Government’s so-called ‘Clean’ Growth Strategy revealed that the UK is already set to miss its legally-binding carbon targets under the Climate Change Act. Again, without building any new runways.”
"Airport expansion remains a climate-wrecking decision that is bad for the British people and the planet. By continuing to back a new runway, the Government is displaying a shocking disregard for the UK’s legal and moral obligation to tackle an urgent and genuine air pollution public health emergency.”
“As Greens, we support a fairer frequent flyer levy that would help reduce demand driven by the privileged few and reduce costs for the average UK holidaymaker.”