My letter to 57 Labour MPs who signed EDM 2344 calling for rethink on Heathrow expansionJanuary 25, 2009 at 9:06 am | Posted in Climate change, Heathrow | 2 Comments
Tags: 57 Labour MPs, Carbon emissions, Climate change, Climate policy, Debates, Early Day Motion, EDM 2344, Greenpeace, HACAN, Heathrow, Heathrow airport, Heathrow expansion, House of Commons, No third runway, Plane Stupid, Stop Airport Expansion, Transport policy, Vote
Dear Mr (name of Labour MP who signed EDM 2344),
Thank you for speaking out against Heathrow expansion.
When you vote on Wednesday in the House of Commons please remember that a vote against Heathrow expansion gives hope to two groups of people, local and global:
- those who live around the airport, some of whom are faced with losing their homes.
- those who live on our shared planet, who are concerned about the potential negative impacts of climate change on the world their children and their children’s children will inherit from us.
Heathrow expansion symbolises that greed still holds sway over need: business-as-usual means (despite global financial system meltdown) powerful, well-funded special interests seek to benefit from economic growth at all costs, while ordinary folk pay the price.
The vote on Wednesday goes beyond constituency matters and your vote will reflect how serious British politicians are about tackling climate change.
The world will be watching.
On September 24 2007, in ‘The Future in Our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change‘, a high-level event at UN HQ in New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told more than 80 national leaders in the General Assembly chamber:
“I am convinced that climate change, and what we do about it, will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations.”
Your vote defines you, and your contribution to the world as an MP. In this case, your vote helps determine whether or not Heathrow will become the single biggest source of carbon emissions in the UK.
Any deliberate expansion of greenhouse gas emissions through human industrial activity directly contradicts the recommendations of world-class scientists, and ignores copious amounts of infomation provided to policymakers by the IPCC. Expanding greenhouse emissions through ‘Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport’ defies common sense.
The government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 is completely undermined by its support for Heathrow expansion. In order to make it look like it can achieve the necessary reductions, the government will have to rob Peter to pay Paul. This is not fair on all businesses around Britain that fail to benefit from Heathrow expansion. Businesses and regions of Britain that could have made use of £9 billion will be penalised indirectly through carbon cost increases and ever-more stringent emissions targets. A national investment of £9 billion in alternative renewable energy sources, or a clean technology sector, would make far more sense than spending the money on making a problem airport bigger!
Local environmental conditions will worsen in our area, for the sake of a business case that would have been weak even at the best of times—yet we are now officially in the midst of a recession, with economists warning that Britain is on the brink of the worst depression since the Great Depression, and the government thinks it can forge ahead with the business case it crafted for Heathrow expansion during pre-recession times?
Meanwhile, we are told that most responses to the consultation were from locals, and more than 3 out of 4 respondents to the consultation who stated a preference expressed opposition to Heathrow expansion. (This is not widely known, but supporting numbers can be found in an independent report on the responses to ‘Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport’ consultation.)
Given the urgency of reducing our emissions and the challenge of realising it, I will keep track of your vote next Wednesday.
The government’s response to tackling climate change is an important issue for me and one that will definitely influence how I vote in the next election. (See America for the most recent example of electoral consequences with global ramifications.)
I hope that you favour strong leadership on climate change, which necessitates your vote being opposed to the third runway.
The alphabetical list of MPs is here, with remarks as I get replies:
|Diane Abbott||Hackney North|
|John Austin||Erith and Thamesmead|
|Hugh Bayley||City of York|
|Colin Challen||Morley and Rothwell|
|Michael Clapham||Barnsley West and Penistone|
|Ann Clwyd||Cynon Valley|
|Harry Cohen||Leyton and Wanstead|
|Michael Connarty||Linlithgow and Falkirk East|
|Frank Cook||Stockton North|
|Jeremy Corbyn||Islington North|
|Jim Cousins||Newcastle Central|
|Ann Cryer||Keighley and Ilkley|
|Frank Dobson||Holborn and St Pancras|
|Mark Fisher||Stoke-on-Trent Central|
|Dr Ian Gibson||Norwich North|
|Roger Godsiff||Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath|
|John Heppell||Nottingham East|
|Kelvin Hopkins||Luton North|
|Eric Illsey||Barnsley Central|
|Lynne Jones||Birmingham Selly Oak|
|Alan Keen||Feltham and Heston|
|Peter Kilfoyle||Liverpool Walton|
|Mark Lazarowicz||Edinburgh North and Leith|
|Chris McCafferty||Calder Valley|
|Michael Meacher||Oldham West and Royton|
|Chris Mullen||Sunderland South|
|Martin Salter||Reading West|
|Virendra Kumar Sharma||Ealing Southall|
|Alan Simpson||Nottingham South|
|Andy Slaughter||Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush|
|David Taylor||North West Leicestershire|
|Emily Thornberry||Islington South and Finsbury|
|Paul Truswell||Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough|
|Desmond Turner||Brighton, Kemptown|
|Rudy Vis||Finchley and Golders Green|
|Joan Walley||Stoke-on-Trent North|
|Robert N Wareing||Liverpool, West Derby|
|Mike Wood||Batley and Spen|