The government’s decision to greenlight aviation expansion (Chris Grayling: decision on airport expansion to be made on Tuesday, theguardian.com, 23 October) is a predictable failure, but not an acceptable one.
With the scrapping of vital decarbonisation policies and funding, the UK is already way off-track to meet our climate change commitments. The impacts of any new runway will be devastating to people’s lives and to the planet.
Locally it will see the demolition of hundreds of homes, result in increased noise pollution, and illegal levels of air pollution – already responsible for almost 10,000 premature deaths in London every year.
But the biggest tragedy of the government’s failure is a global one. Only around 5% of the world’s population flies at all, yet the impacts of climate change – droughts, floods and heatwaves – are already hitting poorer communities in the global south, who are the least likely to ever set foot on a plane.
The UK must not abandon our commitments under the Paris agreement and the Climate Change Act for the convenience of binge flyers. We will not allow our government to ignore the promises they have made to us and to the world.
Craig Bennett CEO, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland,
Nicky Bull Chair, Operation Noah,
Amy Cameron, Director, 10:10,
Sarah Clayton. Coordinator, AirportWatch,
Peter Deane, Biofuelwatch,
Bill Hemmings, Director, aviation and shipping, European Federation for Transport and Environment,
Claire James, Campaigns coordinator, Campaign Against Climate Change
Rosalie James, Chair, Aircraft Noise 3 Villages(Lightwater, Windlesham & Bagshot),
Tim Johnson, Director, Aviation Environment Federation
James MacColl, Head of campaigns, Campaign for Better Transport,
Kara Moses, Environment editor, Red Pepper
Leo Murray. Director, Fellow Travellers
Danielle Paffard, UK divestment campaigner, 350.org
John Sauven, Executive director, Greenpeace UK
Kia Trainor, Director, CPRE Sussex
Anna Vickerstaff, Co-director, UK Youth Climate Coalition
Vivienne Westwood, Climate Revolution
Peter Willan, Chair, Richmond Heathrow Campaign
… and seven others