GREEN PARTY MEP BACKS EU-WIDE ANTI-RUNWAY PROTESTS
DEMONSTRATIONS HIT HEATHROW AND SOUTHAMPTON AIRPORTS
CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to expand airports and runways across and beyond
the UK are holding a European Day of Action tomorrow (Saturday, June 10th),
with demonstrations at airports across the EU.
Green Party Principal Speaker and Euro-MP Caroline Lucas said the
demonstrations will show Blair and the European Commission the strength of
public opposition to the untrammelled growth of the aviation sector, the
fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling
“Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to climate change and the
Government simply must clip the airlines’ wings,” she said.
“If we are to stave off the worst impacts of climate change fairly we must
cut UK emissions by 80 to 90 per cent in the next few decades: that will
simply not be possible unless we reduce emissions from flights.
“Instead of pursuing the outdated model of ‘predict and provide’, approving
new runways at the airlines’ behest, the Government should stop building new
runways and take immediate steps to force the airlines to reduce their
The anti-aviation campaigner and Green MEP made her comments as hundreds
were preparing to demonstrate against Heathrow’s expansion with a procession
of lorries – symbolising the extra congestion Heathrow’s continued expansion
has brought to the area – and a big screen showing of the England v Paraguay
World Cup game.
Other events and demonstrations will take place at Stansted, Luton, Aberdeen
and Bristol, as well as Southampton Airport, which sees the launch of a
local anti-airport expansion group, AXE, and airports in France, Brussels,
Greece and the Netherlands.
Dr Lucas, who has drafted a package of measures to reduce the environmental
impact of flying which could be adopted by MEPs after a vote next month,
“While the airlines are cleaning up their act and reducing their emissions
through improved design, this is being outstripped by the phenomenal growth
in the total number of flights.
“The only sustainable solution is to reduce the total number of flights and
make the airlines pay the true social and environmental costs of their
activities – and I am delighted people across Europe are standing up and
letting this message be counted.”