Queen’s Speech section on climate says an ambitious global deal has widespread support and is strongly in the UK’s interest

In the Queen’s Speech she said: “My Government will seek effective global collaboration to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the climate change conference in Paris later this year.”  The government’s briefing on the Speech said: “The Government is seeking to address climate change through ambitious action at home and at the international level. We are hoping to agree an ambitious global deal on international climate change in Paris this year to take effect from 2020.” Some extracts from the briefing include: “A [global] deal is strongly in the UK’s interest.”… “It’s not just governments who want this deal. There is widespread support from business, NGOs and the wider public both in the UK here and internationally.” …”The UK has taken decisive domestic action through the Climate Change Act and has already reduced its emissions by 30% as part of its commitment to an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 from 1990 levels. This target is in line with the global objective to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees.” …”The UK has set targets in legislation, 5 year carbon budgets and review mechanisms, which is providing a leading model for climate change policies both domestically and at the international level.”
.

 

27 May 2015

Paris Conference

Quote from the Queen’s Speech:

“My Government will seek effective global collaboration to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the climate change conference in Paris later this year.”

The Government is seeking to address climate change through ambitious action at
home and at the international level. We are hoping to agree an ambitious global deal
on international climate change in Paris this year to take effect from 2020. A global
deal is the only way we can deliver the scale of action required. The most cost effective
and competitive way to achieve this is an international, legally binding, rules
based agreement covering every country. We are negotiating this under the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), covering over 190 countries.

A deal is strongly in the UK’s interest.

• A global climate agreement is the only way to deliver the global response
necessary.

• The UK is a world leader in green technology and innovation, and a global
commitment on climate change will open our new opportunities for our lowcarbon
industries

• In addition to the science and sustainability arguments, there is a compelling
case to avert direct threats to the UK such as severe weather events from
floods to heatwaves that can wreak economic and social damage; and indirect
threats through global changes such as rising costs and regional instability.

• Global impacts also underpin the need to support developing countries to
improve economic stability and growth, and move to a low carbon, climate
resilient growth path.

• A global climate agreement is vital to deliver the global response needed to
mobilise the necessary finance to invest in adaption and mitigation across the
world.

• It’s not just governments who want this deal. There is widespread support
from business, NGOs and the wider public both in the UK here and
internationally.

There are a number of negotiating sessions and events in the lead up to Paris,
including the UNFCCC Intersessional in Bonn in June, which will be an important
opportunity to discuss elements of the deal such as countries’ intended contributions
and rules regarding transparency and accountability.

The UK has taken decisive domestic action through the Climate Change Act and has
already reduced its emissions by 30% as part of its commitment to an 80% reduction
in emissions by 2050 from 1990 levels. This target is in line with the global objective
to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees.

The UK has set targets in legislation, 5 year carbon budgets and review
mechanisms, which is providing a leading model for climate change policies both
domestically and at the international level.

Written by:

Media Team, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2AW    030 0068 5476

…….

section copied from the Briefing Pack from the Government, on the Queen’s Speech.  27.5.2015

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/430029/queens-speech-briefing-pack.pdf

 

.


 

Carbon budgets

The Climate Change Act is something of which the UK is proud. As are the  5 year carbon budgets. They would be even better if they fully included the carbon emitted by international aviation and shipping, which currently just have to be taken into account – rather than fully included. Talks will take place over the next year about their full inclusion in the 5th carbon budget, to be set in 2016..

.


Government fails to properly include international aviation in UK carbon budgets – decision put off till 2016

The government was legally required to make a statement to Parliament by the end of December on whether it will include CO2 emissions from international aviation and shipping (IAS) in the UK’s climate target under the Climate Change Act. Today Ed Davey went against the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, and postponed the decision, using some ambiguous wording. His exact words were that the government “is deferring a firm decision on whether to include international aviation and shipping emissions within the UK’s net carbon account” and that it “will revisit this issue when setting the fifth Carbon Budget (2028 – 2032).” ie. in 2016, which is after the next general election. IAS will continue to be excluded from the first 4 carbon budgets, which run until 2027. The Chancellor and many Conservatives are reluctant to do anything that can be seen as strengthening environmental regulations. If the greenhouse gases from IAS were included in the UK targets, other sectors, including electricity generation and industry, would have to make steeper cuts in their emissions. Government justifies its postponement by arguing that there is uncertainty about the EU ETS at present, and also whether there just might be progress on a global aviation carbon scheme through ICAO in 2013. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012/12/carbon_budgets/

.

.

.

 

.


 

Read more »

UN shipping body – the IMO – shelves target for the sector’s CO2 emissions till “a future date”

The carbon emissions from global international shipping are around the same size as those from international aviation (but without the additional non-CO2 impacts of emissions at altitude). They are each responsible for about 2 to 3% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Shipping has a carbon footprint equivalent to Germany or Japan. Both sectors are left out of the carbon inventories of countries, as means to include them have not been agreed. Both sectors have been very slow to reach any agreement to cut CO2. Now at recent talks, the body given the task of working on emissions, the IMP (International Maritime Organisation) has said it will not offer a emissions reduction target towards a global climate deal in Paris this December. Delegates agreed only to address “at an appropriate future date” a proposal from the Marshall Islands to curb greenhouse gases in the sector. Under business as usual, the IMO’s own research shows shipping emissions are set to rise 50-250% by 2050, as a growing population boosts demand. With countries targeting emissions cuts, shipping’s share of the emissions space will grow even faster – up to 14% (compared to 2 – 3% now). Aviation is also expected to grow in a similar manner, unless the ICAO finds a mechanism to cut this.
.

 

UN shipping body shelves emissions target

13.5.2015 (RTCC)

Marshall Islands plea for climate action falls on deaf ears at IMO, leaving CO2 to rise unchecked

Shipping is responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions

By Megan Darby

The UN shipping body will not offer an emissions reduction target towards a global climate deal in Paris this December.

That was the upshot of a debate at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London on Wednesday.

Delegates agreed only to address “at an appropriate future date” a proposal from the Marshall Islands to curb greenhouse gases in the sector.

“The question still remains: Is the IMO committed to reduce emissions?” said Bill Hemmings of the Cleaner Seas Coalition.

“The answer has not been given a clear yes. I think that is a very unfortunate reflection on this house.”

Shipping has a carbon footprint equivalent to Germany or Japan.

Under business as usual, the IMO’s own research shows shipping emissions are set to rise 50-250% by 2050, as a growing population boosts demand.

With countries targeting emissions cuts, shipping’s share of the emissions space will grow even faster – up to 14%.

Existential dilemma

Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum made a personal appeal to delegates to play their part in global climate efforts.

An archipelago of low-lying coral atolls, the Marshall Islands is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and tropical storm surges linked to climate change.

It is also the world’s third largest shipping registry and depends on the ocean for much of its economy.

“The very water that sustains us is lapping at our heels and threatening our survival,” said de Brum.

He called for “all hands on deck to face the greatest challenge we have ever faced”.

Other Pacific island states gave the proposal their full support.

Foot dragging

But while there were many expressions of sympathy, most countries including the US, China and Panama declined to back a target.

Nor did EU member states come through, despite the European Commission declaring its support.

Instead they urged a focus on existing efforts to regulate energy efficiency.

Koji Sekimizu, IMO secretary general, was also ambivalent. He spoke of “solidarity” with the Marshall Islands but stopped short of backing its proposal.

“The shipping industry is a servant to the world community and trade,” he said. “We will ensure that efficiency will be improved and we will ensure that the reduction will be achieved for ship-based emissions.”

The IMO has imposed an energy efficiency design standard on new ships. For existing ships, it has agreed to monitor fuel consumption with a view to potential policy interventions in future.

Yet on Tuesday, negotiators were still at odds over how to collect and use data from ships.

CO2 targets, trajectories and trends for international shipping. See Scribd https://www.scribd.com/doc/265224556/CO2-targets-trajectories-and-trends-for-international-shipping
In a paper released to coincide with the meeting, UK scientists said emissions curbs needed to be “significantly more stringent” under international climate goals.

The UN climate body is aiming to limit warming to 2C above pre-industrial temperatures. Vulnerable countries argue the goal should be tightened to 1.5C.

The global fleet must get at least twice as efficient by 2030 if shipping is to play its part in a 2C world, the researchers found.

Tristan Smith, energy and transport expert at UCL, said: “The planning for change cannot start soon enough, if it’s going to have a minimum of disruption on international shipping and global trade.”

Opportunities

Writing before the IMO debate, Carbon War Room head Jose Maria Figueres argued an emissions target would bring “substantial business opportunities”.

He cited research from UCL and CE Delft showing the most efficient ships use 30-50% less fuel than average.

“Efficiency makes good business sense,” he said, and low carbon technology is available.

Experts told RTCC the emissions target debate would be back on the table next year at the earliest, if the Paris deal sends a clear signal.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres gave no indication she would intervene, however. In a phone conference, she said international emissions were outside her domain and the two bodies would run in parallel “at least in the foreseeable future”.

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/05/13/un-shipping-body-shelves-emissions-target/

 

.

The Committee on Climate Change says  international shipping emissions should be included in the UK’s overall carbon reduction strategy, as should those from international aviation. Neither sector is currently included in the UK’s 5 year carbon budgets. These budgets are due to be reviewed in 2016.

The Committee for Climate Change has reported that by 2050 greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime industry could amount to as much as 11% of the UK’s Carbon Budget, as agreed under the 2008 Climate Change Act – and warns that this level is too large to be ignored.

 

.


 

Global shipping emissions set to rise unchecked

Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping will rise up to 250% by 2050, finds study, if the UN fails to regulate the sector

By Megan Darby

Shipping is responsible for a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, a little more than Germany.

Its share of global emissions fell from 3.2% in 2007 to 2.5% in 2012, according to the latest figures approved by the UN’s International Maritime Organization.

But with no strategy to curb emissions, they are set to rise 50-250% by 2050, depending on the rate of economic growth.

In his opening remarks to an IMO conference in London this week, secretary-general Koji Sekimizu made clear that growth would take priority over emissions reductions.

“Shipping has a great potential for growth to meet the demand of the world economy but shipping has also, a great potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions, while achieving further growth of maritime transport,” he said.

Financial crisis

Bill Hemmings, of pressure group Transport & Environment, told RTCC the recent dip in emissions had more to do with the financial crisis than environmental regulations.

The economic downturn led to lower demand and shipping companies took to “slow steaming” – running at less than full speed – to reduce fuel costs.

“That is all very welcome, but it does not change the underlying facts,” said Hemmings. “Shipping is on track for a very large increase in emissions to 2050.”

The IMO has made some indirect steps to limit emissions, the main one being energy efficiency design standards for new ships.

It also requires all operating ships to have energy efficiency management plans, but sets no minimum standard for the content of these.

As ships often operate for 30 years or more, fuel consumption of the existing fleet will continue to be a major contributor to emissions.

The industry is resisting further regulations, says Hemmings, with the support of “flag states” that make a lot of money from registering ships.

“Industry are saying: ‘we do what we have to do, which is be the servants of world trade, and we are not going to be regulated in a way that slows growth’.”

While some “enlightened” member states are working hard to promote action, he said they had come no closer to resolving the argument at this week’s meeting.

Leading flag states include Panama, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore, according to 2013 UN data.

Emissions are expected to rise, even assuming a 40% improvement in energy efficiency (Source: IMO report on GHG emissions)

Efforts to tackle emissions head on, with a carbon tax or market, have been held back by a fundamental conflict between UN institutions.

The IMO and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) run on different principles.

The former, being mainly concerned with activity outside national boundaries, insists on “no more favourable treatment” for one country over another.

The latter works with ”common but differentiated responsibility” for emissions cuts, requiring developed countries to shoulder most of the burden.

There have been suggestions to overcome this, with a universal levy on emissions to satisfy the IMO and the revenue distributed to poor countries by a UNFCCC fund. But these have yet to get anywhere.

Data deficit

Tristan Smith, shipping expert at University College London and co-author of the greenhouse gas report, said any action would depend on getting better data from ships.

Putting in place strong reporting and monitoring regimes could take years. Then there would need to be pilot projects, said Smith.

“Nothing is going to happen before 2020. The only thing that could possibly change that is some radical outcome in Paris next year.”

He was referring to the 2015 climate conference at which negotiators are due to strike a global deal.

But for shipping to come to that table with no plan to tackle emissions is “not a credible position to take”, argued Hemmings.

“All sectors need to make a contribution.”

http://www.rtcc.org/2014/10/17/global-shipping-emissions-set-to-rise-unchecked/

.

.


Shipping emissions should be included in UK carbon budgets

13.2.2012 (RTCC)

Shipping emissions should be included in the UK’s overall carbon reduction strategy, according to an influential body that advises the British government.

The Committee for Climate Change has reported that that by 2050 greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime industry could amount to as much as 11% of the UK’s Carbon Budget, as agreed under the 2008 Climate Change Act – and warns that this level is too large to be ignored.

Proposals to cut shipping and airline emissions are expected to be high on the agenda during COP17 in Durban. They were avoided during previous UN negotiations as it is difficult to work out which countries are directly responsible for these discharges.

Under the Climate Change Act, the UK is committed to cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Currently shipping and aviation are excluded from the targets, but the Act stipulates Parliament must make a decision on whether to include the two industries by the end of 2012.

The Committee call for the UK government to include the emissions from shipping in their 2050 targets, but warn this will mean harsher cuts on other industries including motoring and electricity generatation.

Shipping currently accounts for between 12 and 16 MtCO2 – based upon half of all emissions from ships leaving and arriving at British docks, with the other half coming from the country at the other end of the journey.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the CCC said: “Our report highlights the degree of uncertainty over current and future shipping emissions and the need to resolve this. However, it is clear that shipping emissions could well be significant and so cannot be ignored – they should be included under the Climate Change Act.”

The CCC report sets out three alternative recommendations for the government:

– Including shipping emissions in the 2050 target and budgets immediately.
– Including them when an accurate methodology has been made.
– Including them in the target now and in the carbon budgets only when progress has been made on methodology.

The committee will put its formal recommendation on shipping and aviation to the government next year.

Global Agreement

The report says there are many ways for shipping to cut emissions including improving fuel efficiency, deploying sails, improving the efficiency of the routes used and the speed travelled at or implementing additional energy sources including solar, wind or biomass.

Earlier this year, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) came up with a series of energy efficiency targets for new ships, but the CCC believe there is scope to reduce emissions further.

The report argues that to reduce economy-wide costs for abatement, the government should be arguing for international policies going beyond what the IMO has currently agreed, such as including international shipping within an emissions trading or carbon tax scheme.

Set to be a hot topic at the forthcoming climate conference in Durban, the CCC believes an international deal could be done through the IMO or the UNFCCC, but if an agreement can not be met this year, it urges the UK government to work with the EU towards inclduing international shipping under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

The UK Chamber of Shipping, which worked with the CCC on its analysis, welcomes the report but highlights the need for any such trading or tax scheme to be done at a global level.

David Balston, Director Safety & Environment at the UK Chamber of Shipping said; “We do stress that any solution must be global rather than regional to avoid distorting world trade and potentially damaging an industry that is vital to the future prosperity of the United Kingdom.”

Read the full Committee on Climate Change Report here.

http://www.rtcc.org/2011/11/03/shipping-emissions-should-be-included-in-uk-carbon-budgets

.

.

 

 

Read more »

NGOs from across Europe send open letter to EU ministers, asking for proper action on aviation CO2

The inclusion of international flights into the EU’s carbon market (the EU ETS) was one factor that created momentum for a global, rather than regional, measure to address aviation emissions. Recognizing Europe’s potential importance in trying to get progress in the ICAO negotiations towards a global MBM (market based measure), open letters from 15 NGOs across Europe have been sent to EU’s transport and environment/climate ministers. The letters ask them to do more in getting aviation CO2 emissions cuts.  ICAO is aiming to adopt a global MBM to address some of the rapidly-rising emissions from global aviation,at its 2016 meeting. In theory, if ICAO does not come up with a sufficiently effective MBM, the EU will be asked to bring back its ETS measure. But with just one year till the scheduled adoption, the EU is punching below its weight at the negotiations, and there are concerns the ICAO’e level of ambition on CO2  is far too low. The NGO letters say that to keep aviation CO2 emissions down, the subsidies that European aviation enjoys, including tax-free status of fuel and no VAT, subsidies to non-viable regional airports and legalising operating aid to airlines, need to be cut.
.

 

 

Growing expectations on EU ministers to promote aviation mitigation

04 May 2015

The inclusion of international flights into the EU’s carbon market was one factor that created momentum for a global, rather than regional, measure to address aviation emissions. Recognizing Europe’s potential importance in the ongoing negotiations towards a global market based measure, open letters from fifteen NGOs across Europe were sent to EU’s transport and environment/climate ministers, calling on them to step up in promoting emissions reductions from aviation – a fast-growing and polluting sector.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) intends to adopt a global market-based mechanism to address some of the rapidly-rising emissions from the aviation sector in its 2016 meeting. In April it held five regional meetings, in Lima, Cairo, Nairobi, Singapore and Madrid, to engage interested parties that have not been deeply involved in the measure’s development to date.

The inclusion of international flights into the EU’s carbon market was one factor that created momentum for a global, rather than regional, measure. The current temporary suspension of international flights in the EU ETS  [Emissions Trading System] gives the EU potentially a lot of influence in the negotiations, as the exclusion is depending on whether the future GMBM [Global Market Based Measure] will have at least equivalent environmental integrity to the EU ETS for it to be acceptable to Europe.

If the GMBM is deemed to lack sufficient environmental integrity, the EU will be asked to bring back its ETS measure.

However, with about one year to go until the scheduled adoption, the EU is punching below its weight at the negotiations. This is partly due to the lack of coordination between Member States, and between transport ministries, which have the aviation expertise, and environment ministries, where knowledge of carbon markets tends to reside.

Moreover, there are concerns on the overall adequacy of the ICAO’s emissions control ambition – it is currently not consistent with limiting warming to 2ºC and lacks carbon budgets for 2030 to 2050.

While a fair GMBM is important and could be a source of new public climate finance, it must not replace complementary rigorous technical and operational measures, such as an ICAO CO2 standard for new aircraft.

Another essential element in tackling aviation emissions is to cut subsidies to the aviation industry in the EU, including removing the tax-free status of fuel and the lack of VAT, relics from the 1940s, as well as putting an end to subsidizing non-viable regional airports or legalizing operating aid to airlines.

ICAO estimates that fuel demand in the international aviation sector will rise from 187MT [million tonnes] in 2006 to 461Mt in 2036. This would bust the global carbon budget and amplify the existing risks from climate change.

The EU has already taken an important step by pushing for the inclusion of text in the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework – Convention on Climate Change] process to include international aviation and shipping in the Paris deal at the end of the year.

Building on this momentum, EU Member States now need to show a unified voice to push for a robust deal towards the adoption of a global market based measure under the ICAO process.

http://carbonmarketwatch.org/news-growing-expectations-on-eu-ministers-to-promote-aviation-mitigation/

.


The letter:

Letter to EU Environment and Transport Ministers on aviation emissions

16 Apr 2015

SWISS GOVERNMENT RESPONSE LETTER PDF (GERMAN)

UK GOVERNMENT RESPONSE LETTER PDF (ENGLISH)

LETTER TO EU ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORT MINISTERS PDF (ENGLISH)

 

Dear Minister,

2015 is a key year for global efforts to combat climate change and keep warming under 2ºC. Aviation, which currently accounts for 5% of global warming and is the most carbon intensive and fastest growing transport mode, must play a central role. Its CO2 emissions, approximately equal to those of Germany, are predicted to grow by up to 270% between 2010 and 2050. Its fossil fuel consumption is set to double by 2036, greatly undermining efforts to decarbonise the global economy.

Since 1997, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have failed to take any measures to reduce emissions, which more than doubled over that period. However, ICAO is currently considering an offset mechanism, which we consider deeply inadequate because of its likely minimal environmental effect. ICAO’s Dialog on market based measures in Madrid on 27-29th April aims to expand the scope of the discussion and engage more people in the development of this market mechanism and is an opportunity for Europe to address the mechanism’s inadequacies.

Aviation emissions must be reduced through rigorous technical and operational measures complemented by fair market-based mechanisms. Such mechanisms may also offer an important source of new public climate finance. Aviation’s tax-free fuel and VAT status works at cross purposes to emissions reduction and must be phased out in Europe. There is no place for a proliferation of subsidies to non-viable regional airports or for legalising operating aid to airlines serving them in a vain attempt at profitability. The SES must be properly implemented by member states.

European effectiveness at ICAO is being undermined by a lack of common purpose. The EU must establish a common position on the key environmental and framework issues and work proactively and in tandem to achieve them. In the context of Europe’s own 40% emissions reduction commitment by 2030, member states have the choice of pressing for greater global ambition or implementing further measures at the European level.

European legislation requires that should ICAO fail to produce an outcome as environmentally effective as the ETS, then the original ETS scheme will return in full force in 2017.  Any intra-EU system must not be based on offsetting.

We therefore request that you:

  • Ensure that at the forthcoming Madrid Dialogue ministries dealing with both transport and carbon market issues are represented, to facilitate inter-ministerial understanding and cooperation, and a genuine focus on the environment. Europe has too often taken a passive position.
  • Propose that ICAO agree ambitious, legally binding, emissions reduction carbon budgets for 2030 and 2050 consistent with limiting global warming to well below 2ºC and work to agree implementing measures
  • Preserve EU language on international aviation and shipping emissions in the UNFCCC negotiation text is preserved and strengthened in the Paris Agreement at the end of this year
  • Instruct EU representatives to work to ensure an ICAO CO2 standard for new aircraft that has a real effect. Current plans will effectively have no environmental impact for a generation.

We hope that you share our concerns on the need to address international aviation emissions and look forward your response.

Further information is included in the attached briefing.

Yours sincerely,

Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)

Amigos de la Tierra España

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland

Carbon Market Watch

Climate Concept Foundation

The Civil Affairs Institute (INSPRO)
Greenpeace

Legambiente

Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)

Levegő Munkacsoport – Clean Air Action Group
Natuur en Milieu (N&E)

Oxfam

Quercus

Réseau Action Climat France (RAC-F)
Transport & Environment (T&E)

WWF European Policy Office

http://carbonmarketwatch.org/letter-to-eu-environment-and-transport-ministers-on-aviation-emissions/

.


 

Carbon Market briefing 

AVIATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
 
? April 2015
 

http://carbonmarketwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Aviation-Policy-Brief_final.pdf

Front Page - Briefing


 

 

Read more »

Not only is the election silent on climate or the new runway issue, but the runway debate is silent on climate change

The glaring omission in this election of discussion of a range of issues has been noted by many commentators. A recent open letter in the Independent asked the parties to set out their polices on a range of climate issues. Tim Johnson, Director of the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), in a letter in the Independent, has said of the gap in  the current political discourse about climate change, that this is “nowhere more apparent than in relation to the impending decision on airport expansion….Shortly after the election, the new government will receive the advice of the Airports Commission in relation to new runway capacity. But while the commission’s head, Howard Davies, speaks as though climate change impacts are being taken fully into account, in fact the commission’s own analysis predicts that aviation emissions will exceed the maximum level compatible with the UK’s Climate Change Act if any of its shortlisted schemes at Heathrow or Gatwick is granted approval. ….This enormous climate hurdle in the way of expansion appears almost totally absent from political debate. With a new runway potentially locking the UK into an emissions path entirely at odds with our long-term climate commitments, politicians will very soon need to face up to the CO2 consequences of sanctioning airport growth.”
.

 

 

Letters:  Airport debate is silent on climate change

26.4.2015 (Independent on Sunday)

Peter Wadhams and his co-signatories (18 April) highlighted the gap in current political discourse about climate change. This is nowhere more apparent than in relation to the impending decision on airport expansion.

Shortly after the election, the new government will receive the advice of the Airports Commission in relation to new runway capacity. But while the commission’s head, Howard Davies, speaks as though climate change impacts are being taken fully into account, in fact the commission’s own analysis predicts that aviation emissions will exceed the maximum level compatible with the UK’s Climate Change Act if any of its shortlisted schemes at Heathrow or Gatwick is granted approval.

This enormous climate hurdle in the way of expansion appears almost totally absent from political debate. With a new runway potentially locking the UK into an emissions path entirely at odds with our long-term climate commitments, politicians will very soon need to face up to the CO2 consequences of sanctioning airport growth.

Tim Johnson
Director, Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), London, SE1

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-teachers-morale-has-never-been-lower-10205545.html

.

.

Nic Ferriday, speaking for AirportWatch, said:

“The Airports Commission is well aware that a new runway puts UK carbon targets seriously at risk. However, this is not politically convenient. All the main parties have been only too glad to keep the climate implications of a runway hidden away, and keep the highly contentious issue of a runway off the agenda for the election.

“That was why the Conservatives arranged for the Commission to only report after the election. Some would call that cynical.”

.


 

Letters:  Climate change: time is shorter than we thought

16..4.2015 (Independent)

Atmospheric CO2 has risen above 400 parts per million and is accelerating. The Arctic Ocean may well be ice-free this summer; methane gas is being released from the melting permafrost into the atmosphere and ocean acidification is intensifying. Sea levels are now rising far faster than predicted only a couple of years ago.

All these changes are irreversible. They make maintaining the global temperature rise below 2C an illusory goal. The unavoidable outcome of this nightmare scenario is a rapidly deteriorating climatic situation.

It will pose a number of grave problems for all aspects of society in the short-term and certainly well before the end of the next parliament.

The effects will be economic as well as ecological and are already evident. The mitigation actions needed are colossal. They will drive up energy demand at a time when international agreements on climate change will require the imposition of strict limits on carbon emissions and drive up public expenditure as tax receipts from economic growth shrink.

The future of all nations is irrevocably and immediately threatened. Yet we see little or no discussion of this by any of the main political parties during this general election campaign.

We therefore request for the benefit of the electorate and as a matter of urgency that all parties specifically set down clearly what policies they propose on  the following:

– ceasing all infrastructure development in flood risk areas as determined by the latest science and observations of ice- sheet collapse;

– plans to evacuate flood-prone cities and to protect critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations;

– moving to a zero fossil-fuel economy by the next decade, with full acknowledgment of all  the political and  economic impacts;

– the extent of international co-operation to be pursued on climate change, in particular focusing on the management of security – given the paradox that the global nuclear weapon arsenal (including Trident) is being upgraded when  the futures of all nations  are most threatened by climate change.

Peter Wadhams – Professor of Ocean Physics, University of Cambridge

Angie Zelter

Dr Mark Levene

Dr Mayer Hillman

Robert Aldridge

Professor John Whitelegg

Dr Robin Stott

Jeffrey Newman

John Pilger

Paul Ingram

Kevin Lister

 


 

Letters:  The neglect of the issue of climate change in the election

16.4.2015 (Independent)

The present election campaign is being labelled fascinating by some and frustrating by others. My frustration is the comparative neglect of  the massive issue of  climate change.

A consensus of scientists suggests that on current trends we have 15 years before the emission of greenhouse gasses destabilises the world climate disastrously and irreversibly. With this prospect, political wrangling over many other issues becomes irrelevant or even absurd.

Why should political leaders not appeal to the electorate with a programme that involves the necessary investment in renewable energy sources and the disinvestment in fossil fuels?

The financial cost of such a policy would be substantial, but the long-term benefit would be immeasurable.

People do care about the future for their children and grandchildren. Rather than buy votes for short-term advantages, shouldn’t our leaders be visionaries who can harness this deeper concern, and implement effective policies on climate that can be replicated across the world?

Maurice Sinclair

Birmingham


 

General Election 2015: Academics call on parties to set out plans to evacuate cities and move to a fossil fuel-free economy

They slammed politicians for ignoring climate change during election campaigning

by TOM BAWDEN
17 April 2015 (Independent)

Academics and campaigners are calling on all parties to set out clear plans to evacuate cities and move to a fossil fuel-free economy, as they condemn politicians of all persuasions for virtually ignoring climate change during their election campaigning.

In a letter published in the Independent, University of Cambridge Professor Peter Wadhams and nine other leading climate change experts warn that the world is headed for an ‘unavoidable nightmare’ that will “pose grave problems for all aspects of society in the short-term and certainly well before the end of the next parliament”.

Particular problems are likely to result from the rising sea levels, ocean acidification and melting Arctic ice and permafrost associated with climate change, the letter warns.

“The future of all nations is irrevocably and immediately threatened. Yet we see little to no discussion of any of this by any of the main political parties during this general election. We therefore request for the benefit of the electorate as a matter of urgency that all parties specifically set down clearly what policies they propose,” said the letter, also signed by Professor John Whitelegg of the University of York and University of Southampton genocide researcher Dr Mark Levene.

The letter also calls on parties to set out their policies for protecting critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations from flooding, for building infrastructure in flood risk areas and for international co-operation to tackle climate change.

“I think it’s a disgrace that climate change is seeing so little attention and it’s a sad indictment of the political system in the UK and internationally,” Prof Wadhams told The Independent.

“Emissions in the UK and EU have come down a little bit but only because we have outsourced our manufacturing to China and India where emissions have gone up in leaps and bounds,” he added.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-academics-call-on-parties-to-set-out-plans-to-evacuate-cities-and-move-to-a-fossil-fuelfree-economy-10185069.html

.

Another area where the silence on climate impact is stunning is the possible new south-east runway.

The Airports Commission, due to make its runway recommendation shortly after the election, has given the impression that it has carefully considered the issue of carbon emissions generated when saying that Heathrow or Gatwick should expand.

The industry, the media and the politicians have taken it as unquestioned that a runway can be added without endangering carbon targets. However, the reality is that the Commission and the Department for Transport are well aware that the addition of a new runway would mean UK aviation would exceed the recommended carbon limit, if the UK is to meet its overall climate obligations. But that information is hidden away in an appendix to the Commission’s consultation.

Nic Ferriday, speaking for AirportWatch, said:

“The Airports Commission is well aware that a new runway puts UK carbon targets seriously at risk. However, this is not politically convenient. All the main parties have been only too glad to keep the climate implications of a runway hidden away, and keep the highly contentious issue of a runway off the agenda for the election.

“That was why the Conservatives arranged for the Commission to only report after the election. Some would call that cynical.”

Some background:
The Committee on Climate Change recommended in 2009 that the carbon emissions from UK aviation should not exceed their level in 2005, by 2050. The figure set for annual UK aviation carbon is 37.5 megatonnes of CO2 pa.

That level is what is required in order for the UK to have a good chance of meeting its climate targets under the Climate Change Act, by 2050.

(The target for aviation is already a very generous one – effectively double the carbon emissions compared to their level in 1990, while all other sectors have to cut theirs by 85%).

Adding a new runway in the SE does not of itself increase UK aviation CO2 emissions, but it has to be taken as part of the UK whole. Taking into account the growth forecast by the Airports Commission at all regional airports as well as a new runway in the SE, the target is breached by a large margin.

This is actually shown in the Airport Commission’s report but is buried away in the small print. www.aef.org.uk (home page) shows their results in accessible form.
The graph is shown on the attached.

While the political parties mention airport expansion when pressed, none except the Green Party are citing climate change as a consideration when discussing airport expansion.

www.airportwatch.org.uk

 

 

Read more »

Open letter from CEOs of 43 global firms (none in aviation) asks global leaders to work for ambitious Paris deal

The CEOs of 43 large global companies have written an open letter to world leaders, asking them to deliver an ambitious climate change agreement at the Paris climate summit later this year, while pledging to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. There are no airports or airlines among the signatories.  The letter called on negotiators to make sure a new international climate deal limits the global rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius. They understand that the private sector has “a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy”.  Some of the companies were IKEA, Erikson, Lafarge, Volvo, BT, Marks & Spencer, Munich RE, Unilever, and Vestas. While the companies signing the letter want to cut their emissions, help raise climate awareness and manage climate risks, they all want to take advantage of the growth opportunities of cutting carbon.  The open letter was orchestrated by the World Economic Forum. Many companies are looking to governments to provide a policy framework for a transition to more sustainable business models. Most governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit their climate pledges for the new deal to the UN,with only Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the EU having done so.
.

 

 

Corporate giants step up calls for ambitious Paris deal

Open letter from 43 chief executives also commits companies to reducing their own emissions

17.4.2015 (BusinessGreen staff)

The heads of more than 40 leading companies have called on world leaders to deliver an ambitious climate change agreement at the Paris climate summit later this year, while pledging to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

Writing in an open letter orchestrated by the World Economic Forum, 43 representatives from companies that generated a combined $1.2tr in 2014 said the private sector has “a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy”.

The letter was backed by the chief executives of a host of household names, including IKEA, BT, Marks & Spencer, Munich RE, Unilever, and Vestas.

The letter commits them to reducing their environmental and carbon footprints through setting targets to cut emissions, acting as ambassadors to raise public awareness around climate change, and actively manage climate risks, incorporating them in decision making, while looking to take advantage of the growth opportunities.

“This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change,” said Ignacio Galán, chairman of Iberdrola and one of the signatories to the letter, in a statement. “As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development by fully integrating the environmental dimension in our strategy and management.”

The letter comes ahead of a meeting of the World Bank in Washington today and offers a timely reminder that many companies are looking to governments to provide a policy framework for a transition to more sustainable business models.

Diplomats remain hopeful high profile business backing can increase the chances of an ambitious new treaty being agreed at the Paris Summit this December.
Observers remain optimistic an agreement can be reached based on a new system whereby all countries put forward commitments to curb their emissions and increase investment in low carbon infrastructure and climate resilience.

However, this optimism was tempered somewhat in recent weeks, after the vast majority of governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit climate pledges ahead of the UN talks in Paris at the end of the year, with only Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the EU so far registering their commitments on the UN submission site under the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) system.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2404518/corporate-giants-step-up-calls-for-ambitious-paris-deal

 

.

Company bosses pledge emission cuts, call for strong Paris climate deal

16.4.2015 (Reuters)

Bosses from more than forty global companies called on negotiators to agree a United Nations climate change deal in Paris in December and pledged to make their own emission cuts, they said in an open letter published on Thursday.

The group of 43 chief executives, representing firms which generated a combined $1.2 trillion in 2014, said they would set internal emission reduction targets and called on negotiators to make sure a new international climate deal limits the global rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The letter is designed to put pressure on government officials ahead of a spring meeting of a World Bank group in Washington from April 17-19.

Companies signing the letter include cement maker Lafarge , telecom group Erikson, consumer goods company Unilever, and car maker Volvo.

“This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change. As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development,” Ignacio Galan, CEO of utility Iberdrola said in a statement.

Most governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit their climate pledges for the new deal.

Just Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the European Union had posted submissions U.N.’s submission website as of April 16.

The firms also join more than 340 institutional investors that last September called on governments to set carbon pricing policies that encourage the private sector to invest in cleaner technologies.

The CEO letter is published here: CEO Letter

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102594961

.


.

 The letter:  

Open Letter from Global CEOs to World Leaders Urging Concrete Climate Action

CEO-led initiative to create a fertile ground for a responsible and global climate deal in Paris 2015

16.4.2015

Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades. The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015, aims to deliver a new climate change agreement that will put the world on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future while keeping the rise in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius.

This coalition, comprising 43 CEOs from companies with operations in over 150 countries and territories, and facilitated by the World Economic Forum, believes the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This coalition further seeks to catalyze and aggregate action and initiatives from companies from all industry sectors — towards delivering concrete climate solutions and innovations in their practices, operations and policies.

The undersigned, as CEO climate leaders, urge the world’s leaders to reach an ambitious climate deal at COP21, aligned with the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We extend an open offer to national governments to meet and co-design tangible actions as well as ambitious, effective targets that are appropriate for their different jurisdictions.

Our commitments

  • The companies we represent are taking voluntary actions to reduce environmental and carbon footprints, setting targets to reduce our own GHG gas emissions and/or energy consumption while also collaborating in supply chains and at sectoral levels. Technological innovations will be an important element.
  • We agree on the need for inspirational and meaningful global action and aligned messaging. We will act as ambassadors for climate action, focusing on solutions and economic opportunities and using “the science debate is over: climate change is real and addressable” * as one of the common themes to raise public awareness.
  • We will actively manage climate risks and incorporate them in decision making — not least to realize growth opportunities. We will take steps to implement effective strategies to strengthen not only our companies’ but also societal resilience.

Our vision supporting a climate deal

  • We believe that effective climate policies have to include explicit or implicit prices on carbon achieved via market mechanisms or coherent legislative measures according to national preferences, which will trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale. We support global mitigation approaches that promote cost effective incentives for cutting emissions, while respecting level playing fields and preventing carbon leakage.
  • We urge a strategic action agenda — supported by clear and consistent policies and robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) — that will complement business efforts to stimulate innovation as well as collaborative actions across value chains, and to develop and scale up alternative and renewable energy sources, promote energy efficiency, end deforestation and accelerate other low-carbon options and technologies such as ICT.
  • We welcome transparency and disclosure regarding financial investments and policies in relation to all energy-related activities — including fossil-based and alternative. We support assessments ofresilience to climate risks and call for new financial instruments to stimulate alternative energy and efficiency projects as well as green bonds. This will enable climate action to be integrated with financial reporting and instruments.
  • We encourage governments to set science-based global and national targets for the reduction of GHG emissions and the development of alternative energy sources.

Hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world. Delaying action is not an option — it will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come. The CEO climate leaders call on government leaders and policy makers to align on global measures, to be consistent in policy-making and to develop helpful innovation frameworks.

A comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious climate deal in Paris on mitigation, adaptation and finance — in combination with a strong set of clear policy signals from the world’s leaders — is key to accelerating this transition. This opportunity should not be missed.

* We will build on the data contained in The Consensus Project of the Scientific Community on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN and the New Climate Economy Report (“Better Growth — Better Climate”) of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.


Signatories

We are CEOs from 43 companies and 20 economic sectors.
With operations in over 150 countries and territories, together we generated over $1.2 trillion in revenue in 2014.

Olof Persson, President and CEO, AB Volvo
Pierre Nanterme, Chairman and CEO, Accenture *
José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and CEO, Acciona * ^
Ton Büchner, CEO, AkzoNobel
Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO), Allianz SE
Gregory Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup Group
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group * ^
Niels B. Christiansen, President and CEO, Danfoss
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group *
Henrik Poulsen, CEO, DONG Energy
Andrew N. Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical
Company *
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
Hans E. Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO, GDF SUEZ *
Bernardo Gradin, CEO, GranBio Investimentos
Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Construction Company
Stuart Gulliver, Group CEO, HSBC Holdings
Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola
Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group *
Ralph Hamers, CEO, ING Group
Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, Chairperson and CEO, Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd
Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO, Lafarge *
Marc Bolland, CEO, Marks and Spencer
Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re
Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark
Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM * ^
Frans van Houten, President and CEO, Royal Philips * ^
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric *
Franky Oesman Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO, Solvay *
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, President and CEO, Statkraft *
Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO, Suez Environnement *
Takeshi Niinami, President and CEO, Suntory Holdings
Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon Energy
Michel M. Liès, Group CEO, Swiss Re
Masashi Muromachi, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation *
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever * ^
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO, Veolia *
Anders Runevad, Group President and CEO, Vestas Wind Systems
Anthony Pratt, Executive Chairman, Visy Industries
David W. Kenny, Chairman and CEO, The Weather Company
Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman and CEO, Wilmar International

All signatories are members of the World Economic Forum.
*Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
^Member of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change

https://medium.com/@ClimateCEOs/open-letter-from-global-ceos-to-world-leaders-urging-concrete-climate-action-e4b12689cddf

.

.

.

.

.

Read more »

Lib Dem manifesto says they oppose any new SE runway (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted or Estuary)

The Lib Dem manifesto states that they will: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050.  We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.” However, when questioned by Eddie Mair on PM, on what the party would do in coalition – if the lead partner wanted a runway – Danny Alexander wriggled and said the party would look carefully if there was any “compelling new evidence” produced.  He would not confirm the Lib Dems would stick to their new runway policy, if required to drop it in coalition. The manifesto says their Zero Carbon Britain Act will include: “A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline.”
.

 

Liberal Democrat manifesto 

We will:

“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.”

“Liberal Democrats will put the environment at the heart of government policy. We will pass five green laws to establish a permanent legal framework for a prosperous, sustainable economy”

“Five green laws will be on the statute books, protecting nature and wildlife in Britain and across the world, cleaning up our air and helping fight climate change.”

“In 2020 Britain will be a force for good in the world, leading global action against climate change, tax avoidance and international crime, working to prevent conflict and offer humanitarian aid, and promoting trade, development and prosperity.”

We will:

“Place the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) on the same statutory footing as the Committee on Climate Change through our Nature Act.”

“We will improve the way government handles the cross-cutting challenges of delivering green growth and fighting climate change, establishing a senior Cabinet Committee to coordinate action and bringing together officials in inter-departmental units on issues like air quality and resource management. We will replicate the success of the Office for Budget Responsibility with an Office for Environmental Responsibility scrutinising the government’s efforts to meet its environmental targets.”

One of their 5 green laws will be:

A Zero Carbon Britain Act which will include:

“A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline.  –  2030 power sector decarbonisation target of 50-100g per kWh, as recommended by the CCC.

– Emission Performance Standards for existing coal power stations, designed to ensure electricity generation from unabated coal will stop by 2025.

– Giving full borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank, to boost further investment in low carbon technologies. ”

“Challenges like climate change and deforestation are too massive for individual countries to tackle alone.

We will:

– Continue pushing for a 50% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the greater use of EU funds to support low-carbon investments, while ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in efforts to combat climate change. – – Work to secure agreement on a global climate treaty at the 2015 UN Climate Conference, supported by a well-financed Green Climate Fund to assist poorer countries to tackle and adapt to climate change.

….. ”   and it continues …

….

Liberal Democrat manifesto at

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/8907/attachments/original/1429028133/Liberal_Democrat_General_Election_Manifesto_2015.pdf?1429028133

 

,


Verbatim transcript of Danny Alexander interview by Eddie Mair on Radio 4  PM Programme  on 15.4.2015

 

On runways. Eddie Mair asked about their policy on runways.

They are not saying before the election, waiting for the Davies Commission. They have declared their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick or a new estuary airport.

Eddie Mair: [On the runway issue]. “What on earth will you do?”

Danny Alexander:We will see what Howard Davies recommends and if there is compelling new evidence then we would obviously have a discussion about that, at our party conference, and our party conference took a very strong view just a few months back that we didn’t support new runways. I was one of those who made the argument that there’s a case for it provided the environmental tests are met. But it would only be if Howard Davies came up with compelling new evidence that we could look at that again. The position set out in our manifesto is our party’s policy which is that we don’t favour that and of course we also say that we would look Sir Howard Davies’s Commission precisely because if it does come up with some compelling new arguments that haven’t been heard before, then as a responsible party we would want to have a debate internally about those and see if that leads us to a different view.”

Eddie Mair: “Would you support in government a party thah wanted to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick?”

Danny Alexander: “As you will remember, in coalition agreement of 2010 there were various areas of policy where we reserved our position to abstain or to vote against …”

Eddie Mair: “People will now want to know where you stand, so that is why I am asking.”

Danny Alexander. “Where we stand is just what I have said. It is set out in our manifesto and people will have to make a judgement about the policies of each party and I think it is right that Liberal Democrats, just like Labour and the Conservatives… ” etc …. and it continues …

Eddie Mair: “But you are not telling me what you would do in a coaliton.”

Danny Alexander: “I am not pre-negotiating a coalition now any more than …..” and it continues ….

Eddie Mair:  “It could go the way of tuition fees, is what you are saying …”

Danny Alexander: .… ” the more Liberal Democrat MPs there are the more opportunity we will have to deliver these policies.” ….. and it continues.

.

PM programme.  Section on runways starts 14:40 into the programme

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05qgm0w

.

.

.

.

 

 

Read more »

Green Party manifesto against any new runway, and against favourable tax treatment of aviation

The Green Party says:  “Long-distance travel by air is one of the most energy-intensive and polluting forms of transport and causes health-damaging local pollution near airports. Aviation fuel goes untaxed and there is no VAT on tickets, amounting to a £16 billion a year subsidy in the UK. We need a shift in priority, removing subsidies from air travel to invest in public transport that supports the common good.” …. “Against this backdrop, mainstream transport policy, which urges us to travel further and faster than ever before, is senseless, yet this is what all parties except the Green Party offer you.” …. “The key to getting this right is to manage demand rather than increase it; that is, to reduce the need to travel in the first place. ”  [Though most of the suggestions deal with local travel, they include]: – “Encourage alternatives to travel, such as video-conferencing. ” …” The major challenge for our transport system is to decarbonise it and end its reliance on fossil fuels. We would: …. End the favourable tax treatment of aviation and have a separate target for aviation emissions below 37.5 million tonnes CO2 equivalent a year.”…  And:  “Stop airport expansion, in particular no new runways at either Heathrow or Gatwick, and ban night flying.”
.

 

Also: “Like so much else, the UK has got transport upside down. The big picture is a world of finite resources, especially the type that runs much of our transport – petroleum. This is running out, and we know we need to leave much of what is left in the ground. We have to create a transport system based on sustainable alternatives.”


This is the Green Party manifesto:

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/manifesto/Green_Party_2015_General_Election_Manifesto.pdf

Read more »

Gatwick opposition groups and MPs hand in letter to Downing Street, asking PM to recognise devastating impact of Gatwick runway

Six local groups and four MPs opposing a 2nd Gatwick runway, and the increased noise nuisance caused by Gatwick airport, handed in a letter to 10 Downing Street today.  They urge the government to recognise the strength of local opposition to a 2nd Gatwick runway, and changes to flight paths.  They are asking the Prime Minister to recognise the devastating impact of a 2nd runway, the lack of local political support and the strength of feeling among local residents against changes to flight paths already in and out of Gatwick. The delegation will hand in the letter, signed by the chairs of the groups representing residents in Sussex, Kent and Surrey, that surround Gatwick and are affected by it.  Together, the groups represent tens of thousands of people.  Sally Pavey, Chair of local group CAGNE commented:  “Throughout this process, we’ve been hugely disappointed with Gatwick’s lack of consultation with the local area. CEO Stewart Wingate continues to portray the airport as an ‘easy option’ for expansion, while ignoring the concerns of thousands of local residents.  Also that it will cost the taxpayer billions in infrastructure bills and the devaluation of vast areas of the south-east with aircraft noise.” CAGNE have also submitted an official complaint to the Airports Commission, on the actions of Gatwick airport in lobbying Heathrow councils to back a Gatwick runway.

.

 

Gatwick opposition groups urge PM to recognise devastating impact

– Anti-Gatwick campaigners and 5 senior MPs deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street at 2pm Monday 23rd March
– They urge government to recognise the strength of local opposition to Gatwick Airport over 2nd runway and changes to flight paths
Handing in letter to 10 Downing Street 23.3.2015

Photo outside Number 10 Downing Street. Local campaign groups representating residents from East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey, with four senior MPs – Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, Crispin Blunt and Nick Herbert. A joint statement opposing Gatwick expansion and the changes to flights paths was handed in to the Prime Minister.
Representatives for residents groups were Sally Pavey CAGNE West Sussex; John Byng GACC; Simon Byerley of Gatwick Obviously Not and CAGNE EAST – East Sussex and Kent; Ian Hare of PAGNE Pulborough; Mike Ward Plane Wrong Surrey and Jane Vogt GACC and Kent. 

[NB –  An additional official complaint has been logged by CAGNE with the Airports Commission on Gatwick’s executive’s behaviour concerning the consultation and London Borough Councils around Heathrow.]
 
Six local campaign groups opposed to Gatwick expansion and four senior MPs will call on the government today to recognise the devastating impact of a second runway at Gatwick, the lack of local political support and the strength of feeling among local residents against changes to flight paths already in and out of Gatwick.
Organised by Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE (Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions), the group will hand-deliver a letter signed by the chairs of all the groups representing all the areas, Sussex, Kent and Surrey, that surround Gatwick to 10 Downing Street this afternoon.
The text of their letter to the Prime Minister is copied below.
Together, the groups represent tens of thousands of people covering West Sussex, Surrey, East Sussex and Kent with the MPs adding millions to the number of residents represented in these areas.
 
Speaking about why the groups were coming together today, Sally Pavey said:
 
“A two-runway Gatwick would devastate the local area and local communities.
 
“Throughout this process, we’ve been hugely disappointed with Gatwick’s lack of consultation with the local area. CEO Stewart Wingate continues to portray the airport as an ‘easy option’ for expansion, while ignoring the concerns of thousands of local residents and that it will cost the taxpayer billions in infrastructure bills and the devaluation of vast areas of the southeast with aircraft noise.
 
“It’s time people realised the truth. Gatwick expansion will destroy our local environment, push local services beyond their limits and expose up to 30,000 people to noise for the very first time, all facts ignored by Gatwick’s CEO.”
 
“If Gatwick refuse to hear us, we hope the Prime Minister and those in government will.”
 
Crispin Blunt MP and Chair of the MP group that opposes Gatwick commented:
“The unremitting noise pollution being suffered by residents underneath new concentrated flight paths at Gatwick, following the implementation of Precision Navigation in 2013-14, has galvanised local residents groups around Gatwick to stop take-off and landing routes that create unmitigated noise pollution to residents.
 
“The united message being delivered to the Prime Minister today is that changes to Gatwick’s implementation of Precision Navigation are needed urgently and the last thing local people need is a new runway at Gatwick which would subject thousands of new people to aircraft noise.
 
Peasant Revolt
Penshurst residents, supported by all the protest groups that surround Gatwick, have raised £100,000 and employed the high profile QC John Steele to serve a Judicial Review on the Civil Aviation Authority. Details here. 
 
In addition an Official Complaint has been made to the Airports Commission
  
The campaign groups’ visit to Downing Street comes on the same day as CAGNE has made an official complaint to the Airports Commission about the “unethical” actions of Gatwick’s PR team.   Letter copied below. 
 
Email exchanges between representatives of Gatwick’s PR team and local parish councils in the Heathrow area expose Gatwick’s efforts to encourage local authorities around Heathrow to campaign for Gatwick.  See text of an email from Gatwick asking councils around Heathrow to back Gatwick – copied below. 
 
Commenting on the complaint, Pavey explained:
 
“Gatwick has deliberately avoided open consultation with its most important stakeholders – local residents.
 
“We’ve now discovered that all this time they’ve actively encouraged Heathrow’s local authorities to support a second runway. It’s unethical and must be challenged.
 
“The fact remains that 12 local authority and local area MPs around Gatwick do not support their plans. It’s no wonder given a second runway would destroy the tranquillity of Sussex, not to mention Gatwick’s complete disregard of local concerns.”
 
 
Downing Street visit
The campaign groups will deliver its letter to the door of 10 Downing Street at 2pm on Monday 23rd March

 


 

Local authorities opposed to Gatwick expansion:

§  West Sussex County Council has voted 37 : 26  to switch from support in principle to opposition.
§  Kent County Council previously supported a second runway, now opposes it.
§  Surrey County Council opposes a new runway unless the necessary infrastructure is first provided.
§  Crawley Borough Council has voted 25 :11 to oppose a second runway.
§  Horsham District Council voted 23 : 1 to oppose.
§  Mid Sussex District Council opposes second runway.
§  Mole Valley District Council unanimously oppose.
§  Sevenoaks District Council has decided to oppose.
§  Tandridge District Council has responded reiterating their core strategy to oppose a new runway.
§  Tunbridge Wells District Council has voted 39:1 to oppose second runway.
§  Horley Town Council and East Grinstead Town Council have voted to oppose. 
§  Reigate and Banstead Borough has taken a firm decision not to take a decision.
In addition, nearly all the 50 or more parish councils around Gatwick are opposed to a second runway.

 

Local MPs opposed to Gatwick expansion

 
Gatwick Coordination Group
 
§  Crispin Blunt MP (Reigate) – Attending Number 10
§  Sir John Stanley MP (Tonbridge and Malling) – Attending Number 10
§  Charles Hendry MP (Wealden) – Attending Number 10
§  Sir Nicholas Soames MP (Mid-Sussex) – Attending Number 10
§  Sir Paul Beresford MP (Mole Valley)
§  Nick Herbert MP (Arundel and South Downs) – Attending Number 10
 
The Gatwick Coordination Group’s opposition and response to the Airports Commission consultation was also supported by Rt Hon Francis Maude MP (Horsham).
 
Sam Gyimah MP (East Surrey) has also opposed Gatwick’s expansion plans. 
 
Contact Sally Pavey 07831 632537
sallypavey@yahoo.com
.
.

.

Letter to the Prime Minister from the Gatwick groups

23rd March 2015Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Westminster
London
SW1A 2AADear Prime Minister

All Gatwick Campaign Groups – The United Message

This statement of objectives, below, has been developed in response to the existing and potentially negative impacts of airspace changes at Gatwick Airport.The re-organisation of airspace infrastructure around Gatwick has led to the introduction of changes in aircraft routing, based on technology changes in order to increase the runway throughput.The changes have failed to properly take account of the impact of aircraft noise and noise shadows on the communities affected and have failed to meet government policy that is to reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise.More people are now significantly affected by aircraft noise and further use of concentration will only exacerbate this statistic.We, the undersigned, therefore propose the following:

The United Message

To Strongly oppose the building of a new runway at Gatwick Airport.Arrivals• Using PBN to achieve maximum dispersal of flight approach paths without using merge points.
• Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Descent Approach at all times
• Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary environmental consideration down from 6,000 feet in the design of all arrival routes
• No night flights (currently defined as 11.30pm -6am)Departures• Using PBN to achieve the maximum dispersal of flight departure paths (restricted to areas previously overflown) within Noise Preferential Routes
• Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Ascent Departure at all times
• Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary environmental consideration up to 6,000 feet in the design of all departure routes
• No night flights (currently defined as 11.30pm -6am)

We wish to record the fact that communities within our groups are in tranquil, rural areas and are significantly affected by noise below 10,000ft. We are hopeful that the plight of these communities can be improved through our proposed change in policy to use PBN for maximum dispersal for flight arrivals and departures.

The Airbus (single aisle aircraft series) design fault

Issue: The A320 series of aircraft have a design fault in their wing fuel filler caps, which cause a debilitating whine. A straightforward fix exists via the fitting of a ‘vortex generator’
Resolution: Ensure the retrofitting of vortex generators to correct this fault on aircraft used by operators at the soonest opportunity, by all means possible

Signatories on behalf of communities in West Sussex, Surrey, East Sussex and Kent:

CAGNE Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
www.cagne.org

ESCCAN East Sussex Communities for the Control of Air Noise

GACC Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
www.gacc.org.uk

GON Gatwick Obviously NOT
www.gatwickobviouslynot.org

PAGNE Pulborough Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
Ian-hare@lineone.net

Plane Wrong Plane Wrong
www.planewrong.co.uk

Also representing –

CAGNE East Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions East
LGVS Langton Green Village Society
SPAG Speldhurst Action Group
.
.

.

Letter from CAGNE to the Airports Commission

18th March 2015
Sir Howard Davies

Airports Commission

Sanctuary Buildings

20 Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

 

Dear Sir Howard

CAGNE would like to make a formal complaint about the actions of Gatwick Airport’s Public Relations executive relating to the attached email sent to residents and councils around Heathrow. It is now quite clear that many Commission submissions made from councils in West London have been led and worded by Gatwick.

Given the deliberate lack of consultation by Gatwick executives with its own neighbours in Sussex and Kent, the resourcing of a number of full time staff to consult with Heathrow locals is unethical and is in open defiance of your Commission’s appraisal framework.

It states that “The Commission believes that it is important for local communities most affected by airport development to be properly engaged and consulted. The Commission wishes to examine how scheme promoters intend to manage their engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”

As you are aware, the first time concerned residents in Sussex and Kent were able to ask questions of executives from Gatwick was at the Airports Commission public consultation. Since that time, Gatwick have resumed their policy of obfuscation relating to the expansion plans of the airport and the effect on our communities.

The resourcing of Gatwick staff to consult with Heathrow communities was raised at the last GATCOM meeting and Gatwick executive, Charles Kirwan Taylor, suggested this is standard practice and that Heathrow would have done the same.

None of the councils at that meeting have received such a communication from Heathrow executives encouraging them to vote for expansion at Heathrow instead of Gatwick.

The fact that Gatwick is spending millions of pounds in advertising and posters around Heathrow and none locally, reinforces the fact Gatwick have not consulted or engaged with local residents or councils.

By ignoring this key part of the appraisal framework, it is no surprise that 12 local authorities, 8 MPs, airlines, big business and residents groups that surround Gatwick all oppose expansion would suggest we have been totally ignored by Gatwick management.

On this basis alone, the submission by Gatwick as a short-listed option for the Airports Commission should be withdrawn.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Sally Pavey

Chair of CAGNE

www.cagne.org

Email cagnegatwick@gmail.com

.

cc Prime Minister David Cameron

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin

Rt Hon Francis Maude MP

Crispin Blunt MP

Nick Herbert MP

Sir Nicholas Soames MP

Charles Hendry MP

Sam Gyimah MP

Sir John Stanley MP

Sir Paul Beresford MP

Henry Smith MP

George Osborne MP

 

.


.

Text of email from Gatwick airport to local councils around Heathrow to get them to back a Gatwick runway.

From: Russell Guthrie [mailto:Russell.Guthrie@gatwickairport.com]

Sent: 15 January 2015 14:12

To:  ………….. X   Y  Z

Subject:  Supporting Gatwick

 

Dear parish council and residents association

I hope you don’t mind the unsolicited email, but I have been prompted to write to you after being contacted by several other parish councils and residents associations in the Heathrow area recently.   All of them expressed concern about the effect of Heathrow’s third runway plan and asked whether there was anything their members could do to support a new runway at Gatwick.

The simple answer is yes – there are two things your members could do if they choose.  I have highlighted both methods below and, assuming you think the cause is worthwhile, I wondered if you would be willing to ‘cascade’ this information to all your members via email or any other method at your disposal?

The first way to support Gatwick is by responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation telling them why you oppose a third runway at Heathrow. The consultation closes on Tuesday 3 February so there is not a great deal of time left to do this.  I have set out how to respond online, via email and by post below, and have also attached a summary of why we think Gatwick has the stronger case to build a new runway. These may help people fill out the consultation form more quickly and easily, although respondents do not have to answer every question on the form.

The second way to support Gatwick is to register your support.  The Airports Commission will be made aware of total number of people supporting Gatwick, so it is important that as many people as possible register their support.

Should you wish to respond to the consultation, please make your voice heard before 3 February by emailing the Airports Commission at airports.consultation@systra.com, by filling in their online survey or by writing to:  …. address given …)

How do I register my support for Gatwick? Simply fill in your name and email address on the website linked to below: http://www.gatwickobviously.com/mailing-list-sign-up/standard

Why is Gatwick the right location for a new runway?  See attached document.  (not attached here).

My Colleague Hannah Staunton, Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport can answer any questions you might have & can be contacted on community@gatwickairport.com

Kindest Regards,

Russell Guthrie

Senior Media Campaigns Manager

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

.

.

 

 

.

Read more »

Gatwick says Birmingham backs its runway – they definitely don’t want the competition of an expanded Heathrow

Gatwick Airport has a blog on its website by Karen Lumley, the Conservative MP for Redditch. She is a keen aviation expansion supporter, and in her blog backs Gatwick over Heathrow, for a new runway.  Ideally she – and other MPs in the Birmingham area – would like to see Birmingham airport expanded. But they are nervous of Heathrow expanding, as it is close enough to take trade away from Birmingham.  But Gatwick is far enough away not to be a direct threat.  Birmingham is too far south to have a flight to a London airport (train travel is fast and easy), so the new London runway idea cannot be “sold” to them with promises of new connecting flights in future – which works for airports further away. The attitude of Manchester airport, significantly further north than Birmingham, is to oppose either new runway, at Heathrow or Gatwick, due to the amount of public money which would inevitably have to be spent on transport and social infrastructure – even if the airports paid for all the on-airport costs of the expansion.


 

 

NEW BLOG: “WHY BRITAIN’S SECOND CITY BACKS A GATWICK SECOND RUNWAY”

16.3.2015 (Gatwick Airport website)

Karen Lumley MP on why Birmingham is backing Gatwick for the greater competition it offers the UK’s regions

“While the airports expansion discussion has predominantly focussed on the fates of two London airports – Heathrow and Gatwick – the pressing issue of regional connectivity has also entered the debate this week. And rightly so.

“At face value this is simply a debate about two London airports but dig deeper and it also has a bearing on passengers and businesses the length and breadth of the UK – which London airport is allowed to expand presents either a huge opportunity or a very real danger for the UK’s regions.

“There is no denying Heathrow is a fantastic airport – I have used it many times and had the pleasure of attending the opening of Terminal 2 last year. But single-mindedly expanding the UK’s biggest airport is short-sighted and not the answer the UK needs from the current debate.

“Rather than expanding Heathrow and reinforcing its dominant market position at the expense of other airports, the real opportunity this debate offers us is the chance for greater competition.

“Following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009, we have seen a more competitive airport market in recent years – it is no coincidence that airports like Manchester or Birmingham Airport near my own constituency have thrived in recent years, seeing record passenger numbers and new long-haul connections.

“Competition has been shown to work and it must be given chance to continue.

“If we are to give the green light to the multi-billion pound expansion of one of London’s airports, it has to be done in a way that does not threaten the future of other UK airports.

“My long-term preference is for Birmingham Airport to be give chance to expand, but I am pragmatic and realise we will have to fight one battle at a time. So the current debate gives us a straight choice between Gatwick and Heathrow – we need to make a decision that is not only right for what the UK needs now, but which also paves the way for future debates involving other UK airports.

“It is for that reason that myself and other key figures in Britain’s second city are backing a second runway at Gatwick.

“It is the only option that gives us the extra capacity and economic boost we need but without closing the door on the ambitions of other UK airports to compete and grow in future.

“In such a lengthy, complex debate there are no easy answers but it seems to be the closest we will get to a win-win solution – Gatwick gets bigger, Heathrow gets better and other airports around the UK can continue to grow in the future.”

.

See also

Report by Oxera for Birmingham Airport criticises Commission’s analysis on impacts of Heathrow runway on regional airports

Birmingham Airport has commissioned a study by economic analysts, Oxera, to look at the Airports Commission’s analysis of impacts of Heathrow expansion on regional airports – Birmingham in particular. Oxera believes a 3rd Heathrow runway would exacerbate, rather than reduce, regional imbalances and by sucking more business into the south-east, Heathrow expansion would just widen the north/south divide. Oxera say the methodology used by PwC, on behalf of the Airports Commission, could hide winners and losers in UK regions, and underplays the negative effect that Heathrow expansion could have on some UK regions.  They believe there should be better analysis of where the national losses and gains would be, and how they would be distributed. CEO of Birmingham, Paul Kehoe, seems to be more in favour of a Gatwick runway, which presumably threatens Birmingham less. Kehoe said: “Whilst Heathrow is essential and must remain a world class airport for the UK and for the Midlands to grow, Heathrow must become complementary to Birmingham Airport. More capacity at Heathrow would limit our region’s ambitions.” The Midlands claims to be responsible for 16% of all UK exports.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/report-by-oxera-for-birmingham-airport-criticises-commissions-analysis-on-impacts-of-heathrow-runway-on-regional-airports/

.


 

 

See also, about Heathrow trying to entice regional airports with promises of domestic flight links in future:

Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway. Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool. That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey. There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Strong “No New Runways” bloc gets its message across at the London Time To Act Climate March

The huge “Time To Act” on Climate Change march was held in London on Saturday 7th March. There was a good turnout, described by some as “over 5,000” and by others as nearer 20,000 (numbers are always hard to be accurate on). The “No New Runways” bloc had a good attendance, from Gatwick and from Heathrow opposition groups, as well as many individuals. Gatwick protesters from CAGNE wore pantomime devil horns, and T-shirts with the logo “Gatwick, Neighbour From Hell.” Many people who stand to lose their homes, to be bulldozed for a new Heathrow runway, too part. The AirportWatch banner read “No New Runways”, and another” Aviation Expansion = Climate Threat.  The runway bloc were with others in the transport bloc,  and marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament, where the speeches took place. During the speeches John McDonnell (the MP for Hayes and Harlington, which the Heathrow north west runway would wipe out) spoke of the need for climate action, not least to oppose a new runway – digging up the village of Harmondsworth. He described the level of protest and direct action that would happen, if the north west runway was recommended, as unprecedented and the “mother of” all environmental battles. The aim of the march is to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December.
.

 

Embedded image permalink 

CAGNE protesters from Gatwick.(with Stewart Wingate masks).

Embedded image permalink One of the aviation banners.

rsz_climate_march_heathrow_and_gatwick_protesters Heathrow campaigners and Gatwick campaigners united  against either new runway

Embedded image permalink

The “No New Runways” banner outside the gates of Downing Street.

Embedded image permalink

The banners, and the marchers, arrive at Parliament.

.


 

People’s Climate March In London Draws 5,000, Including Russell Brand And Naomi Klein

By Paul Vale

7/03/2015 (Huffington Post)

climate change

More than 5,000 protesters gathered in London on Saturday for a climate change march, which is to end with a rally outside Parliament.

The event is one of around 2,500 around the world calling for tougher action on climate change.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Climate change is here, visible, and we know it’s time to act. …It’s time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future. In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us.”

She added: “Young people, parents, grandparents, those new to the movement and veteran campaigners, we can all play our part, demanding our government legislate for the common good and not short-term vested interests. We’re raising our voices for a year of climate action the UK and the world has never seen before.”

Last September Emma Thompson and her daughter joined thousands of people at the 2014 People’s Climate March in London.

Vivienne Westwood addressed the protesters by video link, warning “the clock is ticking.” The fashion designer said: “As you march my models will be walking down the catwalk. It’s very important you are there. I believe this demo is super important for the whole world. At the moment we in the UK need to do two things to handle everything for the best, we need to demonstrate, we need to vote in the elections.”

She continued: “The main parties just want power, they believe everything should be owned by a few people that don’t want change. We want MPs who don’t agree with the old system. The press and the TV do not reflect public opinion, the internet does. You’re not alone, people know what’s going on. We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking.”

She was joined by Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He said: “We are delighted to see a growing alliance between workers and climate activists demanding a just solution to climate change. It is sick that millions around the world suffer without energy.”

He added: “It is sick the energy companies push the prices through the roof… multinationals care not a damn for you or their families but about their profits, that’s what this system is built on. For us the answer is in democracy and that means challenging those who are in power. I ask, do you trust the banks to deal with climate change? Do you trust the multinationals to deal with with climate change? No. That’s why we say it’s time to put our democracy where it belongs, with ordinary people across the world.”

John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, added: “We can have clean energy, we can have clean jobs, we can have clean power if everyone on this planet is to stick together. This year is going to be the most important year, this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilisation we have seen on this issue of climate change and poverty.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/03/07/thousands-gather-in-london-for-climate-change-march-led-by-russell-brand-and-naomi-klein_n_6822680.html

View image on Twitter


.

A few days earlier, John McDonnell (MP for Hayes and Harlington) said:

Real action on climate change is the demand from thousands of people, including PCS members, who are expected to march in London on Saturday.

The Time to Act on Climate Change march brings people together on the streets of London to demand real change and tell politicians seeking election that there is no mandate for climate-wrecking business as usual. The march was initiated by the Campaign against Climate Change, who are carrying forward overall responsibility for administration, budget and logistics. But it has always been envisaged as a coalition event, in the spirit of the People’s Climate March.

Across the UK people are already building change – from divestment of funds which prop up the fossil fuel industry, to frontline communities fighting unsustainable energy extraction and fracking, through to those paving the way for a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future which would bring about an estimated one million new climate jobs in the UK alone. This is a campaign backed by PCS.

Saturday’s demonstration aims to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December. It is also intended to energise and strengthen the climate movement – not an end-point but a stepping stone, it will be followed by local action immediately before the general election, the Climate Coalitionlobby of parliament in June and planning throughout 2015 towards the Paris meeting.

Speakers on the day include:

  • Caroline Lucas (Green party MP)
  • Chris Baugh (PCS assistant general secretary)
  • John McDonnell (PCS parliamentary group chair)
  • Matt Wrack (FBU general secretary)
  • Francesca Martinez (Comedian, speaker, actress, writer and campaigner for a fairer system).

 

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/join-the-time-to-act-on-climate-march

.


 

Time to Act: climate change protesters march in London

Caroline Lucas among speakers and Naomi Klein records video message for event, which is part of a series in cities around the world

7 March 2015  (Guardian)

Thousands of climate change protesters gathered in central London on Saturday to urge strong action at the Paris climate conference in December.

Protesters set off from Lincoln’s Inn Fields and headed for Westminster to hear from speakers including the Green party MP Caroline Lucas and the head of Greenpeace UK John Sauven.

The Campaign Against Climate Change, who organised the march, said “well over 20,000” people attended. The number of attendees was buoyed by the bright sunshine of early spring. Last September 40,000 people took to London’s streets as part of the biggest demonstration on climate change action in history.

Sauven said the protest on Saturday was the first step in a year of climate action. “This is much smaller in terms of its aims and objectives [than the global day of action in 2014]. But I think it’s also just the beginning. By the time we get to Paris then we have to have far bigger numbers than we had last year in September.”

Lucas said climate change was visible and demanded action. “It’s time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future,” she said. “In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us.”

She said there had been a failure of political leadership: “It’s a refusal on the part of most politicians to stand up to fossil fuel lobbyists, listen to the scientists, and act in the public interest.”

The author Naomi Klein urged grassroots activists to redouble their efforts during the months before December’s climate change conference in Paris. In a video message for the rally, she said it was not only political leaders who held the power to act on climate change.

“Here we are, with just nine months ahead of those critical climate talks in Paris. It’s not nine months to pressure our leaders to act. We have nine months to act ourselves. Nine months to become the leaders we need. To lead from below, from the streets, from the neighbourhoods, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities,” the author said.

The designer Vivienne Westwood, who also made a video message, said: “You’re not alone, people know what’s going on. We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking.”

Leila Wilmers, 30, who attended the rally, said both government and big business needed to do more than “just telling people to switch their lightbulbs off and so on”.

Andrew Musser, 30, a physicist at Cambridge University, said: “The government policy is quite bizarre. They say they’re concerned about the environment but then they propose wide-scale fracking. I think they need to move to renewable energy, particularly hydropower and solar power.”

The Guardian has launched a campaign to examine the consequences of climate change. Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief, wrote: “The coming debate is about two things: what governments can do to attempt to regulate, or otherwise stave off, the now predictably terrifying consequences of global warming beyond 2C by the end of the century. And how we can prevent the states and corporations which own the planet’s remaining reserves of coal, gas and oil from ever being allowed to dig most of it up. We need to keep them in the ground.”

Metropolitan police officers were stationed around the march following a back down on their previous refusal to police peaceful protests last month.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/07/time-to-act-climate-change-protest-london

.

.

.

 

Read more »