Help! News of BA plane crash landing at Heathrow airport highlights dangers …

January 19, 2008 at 3:58 am | Posted in Climate change, CO2 emissions, Emissions trading, Environment, GHG emissions, Global warming, Greenhouse gases, Heathrow, Heathrow airport, Heathrow expansion, Help, NAP, URGENT! | 3 Comments

… for residents in flight paths. But there is a larger disaster looming: climate change. Heathrow expansion under DfT proposals for Adding capacity at Heathrow airport will add an extra 3 Mt CO2 (three million tonnes of carbon dioxide) emissions every year. The UK’s National Allocation Plan (NAP) already puts pressure on power companies to cut emissions, and this increases that pressure.

Flights to and from London Heathrow airport (LHR) follow take-off and landing paths right over our house. We endure them at most hours of the day and night. Fair enough. We enjoy the benefits that accompany having the world’s busiest airport on our doorstep, as well as its drawbacks.

The larger global disaster looming, though, is getting little coverage by the media. Significant aggravation of climate change, due to extravagant growth in greenhouse gas emissions by the aviation industry through the proposed Heathrow expansion, is swept under the carpet in the ill-advised Consultation document titled Adding capacity at Heathrow airport sanctioned by our own Government.

Residents here have a problem, and so do you if you care about the future of our planet: the British Government supports Department for Transport (DfT) proposals which advance the personal and private desires of British Airports Authority (BAA) and British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic chief executives for Heathrow expansion. These airlines have written persuasive emails to their executive and flying club members suggesting and requesting support for expansion of Heathrow.

Millions of residents oppose proposals for Adding capacity at Heathrow airport.

Somehow, we need to get the climate change message out to a broader audience than our local area newspapers. The public are ready for it.

Even in our community many have watched announcements on telly and are not engaged in the Consultation process because they have been led to believe that Adding capacity at Heathrow airport is a done deal. The Transport Minister, Ruth Kelly, has made up her mind. So have front-benchers.

We need to raise awareness of the climate change implications of our government’s blinkered view.

The top three questions of a list of 20 prepared for residents to demand answers from Ruth Kelly are:

1. Have you assessed the climate change impact of the extra three million tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions produced by the third runway alone?

2. Can you explain why the aviation industry, uniquely, can expect other industries to make its emissions reductions for it?

3. How do you reconcile the government’s stated objectives for achieving emissions reductions with its advocacy of further expansion at Heathrow?

We need a wider audience for this: national newspapers, international magazines, facebook, myspace, YouTube …
Can you help us, please?



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  1. For the moment, ignore global warming.

    Is this a good investment, or is it likely to become a “stranded asset.”

    1) The expansion is being justified on expansion of air travel over the next few decades.

    2) The newest airliners are more efficient, but most of the planes flying in 2020 already exist. it is even harder to raise the efficiency of air fleets than of car fleets.

    3) “peak oil” is either coming in next few years, or is already here. Given the rapid increase in demand for petroleum from China & India & others, what reason is there to believe efficiency will go up faster than the price of jetfuel? If it doesn’t, the expected surge in air travel is not going to happen… but the money will have been a spent. Yes, people are working on bio-jetfuel, because if they don’t, air travel not only won’t surge, it won’t exist in its current form…

    4) Google:
    ron oxburgh peak oil
    ron oxburgh climate change

  2. Hi John,

    Good to hear from you!

    Yes, we need economics arguments, above all, which is why I wrote in my account of Friday’s public meeting on this topic:

    We need the support of world-class scientists and economists to help build and strengthen the case against the Government’s proposal, which fails to account for climate change effectively, and describes only positive economic benefits (ignoring negative financial impacts).

    BTW, Lord Oxburgh was on BBC Radio 4 this morning too.

  3. Yes, and I would *always* listen very hard to what Lord Oxburgh says, for many experiences talking to him. He’s very knowledgable and tells it like he sees it, much to various people’s consternation on various sides. 🙂

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