MEP: GOVERNMENT MUST RETHINK AVIATION POLICY
‘AIRLINES’ GROWTH THREATENS NOISE, BAD AIR AND CLIMATE CHANGE’
GREEN Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has added her name to a growing list of
politicians and community groups in calling for the Government to ‘Rethink!’
its backing for the unfettered growth of the aviation industry.
The airlines’ rapid growth – flights are set to double by 2020 and triple by
2030 – is fuelling an increase in noise and air pollution, poor health, the
destruction of natural habitats and heritage sites, and climate change, said
Dr Lucas today.
“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“Instead of pursuing the outdated model of ‘predict and provide’, approving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 concreting
over the countryside and take immediate steps to force the airlines to
reduce their emissions.”
The MEP, who has drafted proposals for a range of measures to cut airlines’
greenhouse gas emissions to be voted upon in Strasbourg next week, has
joined Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem politicians, as well as groups including
Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace , the RSPB and the CPRE, in supporting the
‘Rethink!’, which calls simply for the Government to reverse its support for
the airlines spelt out in its Aviation White Paper of 2003, is the
brainchild of AirportWatch, an alliance of environmental organisations and
community groups from across the UK. It was launched today with a series of
letters and advertisements in the UK media.
Dr Lucas added: “For the Government to support continued growth of the
aviation industry is a frank admission that it would rather lose the battle
against climate change – and write off the rights of the millions living
near airports and under flight routes – than call time on cheap stag nights
in Riga, weekend breaks in Rimini and freshly-picked Kenyan flowers in