“Be the change you want to see”: How individuals (not only governments) are vital in cutting global CO2 emissions

What can we do in the face of the climate emergency? Many say we should drive less, fly less, eat less meat. But others argue that personal actions like this are a pointless drop in the ocean when set against the huge systemic changes that are required to prevent devastating global warming.  Research from a PhD researcher into Environmental Leadership (Cardiff University) shows that doing something bold like giving up flying can have a wider knock-on effect – by influencing others and shifting what’s viewed as “normal”.  These effects were increased if a high-profile person had given up flying, such as someone in the public eye.  Far from the small actions by individuals having no impact, they are important. The role of people, in changing their lifestyles, cutting their carbon emissions and environmental footprint, is as big as that of governments or major corporations.  But significant lifestyle changes by individuals need to be encouraged by effective government policy. It has to be both – policies, government action etc  PLUS actions by individuals. Millions of them. Behavioural change has the potential for far greater emission reductions than the political pledges made under the Paris Accord.

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Climate change: yes, your individual action does make a difference

Author

What can we do in the face of the climate emergency? Many say we should drive less, fly less, eat less meat. But others argue that personal actions like this are a pointless drop in the ocean when set against the huge systemic changes that are required to prevent devastating global warming.

It’s a debate that has been raging for decades. Clearly, in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions, a single person’s contribution is basically irrelevant (much like a single vote in an election). But my research, first in my masters and now as part of my PhD, has found that doing something bold like giving up flying can have a wider knock-on effect by influencing others and shifting what’s viewed as “normal”.

In a survey I conducted, half of the respondents who knew someone who has given up flying because of climate change said they fly less because of this example. That alone seemed pretty impressive to me. Furthermore, around three quarters said it had changed their attitudes towards flying and climate change in some way. These effects were increased if a high-profile person had given up flying, such as an academic or someone in the public eye. In this case, around two thirds said they fly less because of this person, and only 7% said it has not affected their attitudes.

I wondered if these impressionable people were already behaving like squeaky-clean environmentalists, but the figures suggested not. The survey respondents fly considerably more than average, meaning they have plenty of potential to fly less because of someone else’s example.

To explore people’s reasoning, I interviewed some of those who had been influenced by a “non-flyer”. They explained that the bold and unusual position to give up flying had: conveyed the seriousness of climate change and flying’s contribution to it; crystallised the link between values and actions; and even reduced feelings of isolation that flying less was a valid and sensible response to climate change. They said that “commitment” and “expertise” were the most influential qualities of the person who had stopped flying.

Letting fly

It’s not all a bed of roses, of course. Flying represents freedom, fun and progress. It boosts the economy and can provide precious travel opportunities. So suggesting that everyone should fly less, which may seem the implicit message of someone who gives up flying because of climate change, can lead to arguments and confrontation. One person for example said that my gently worded survey was “fascist and misinformed”. You don’t get that when you ask about washing-up liquid.

My research also probed ideas of inconsistency and hypocrisy. In short, people hate it. If Barack Obama takes a private jet and has a 14-vehicle entourage to get to a climate change conference, or a celebrity weeps for the climate while rocking a huge carbon footprint, it doesn’t go down well. And if future laws are introduced to reduce flying because of climate change, it looks essential that politicians will have to visibly reduce their flying habits, too. Other research has shown that calls for emissions reductions from climate scientists are much more credible if they themselves walk the talk.

Kevin Anderson@KevinClimate

At a meeting of academics on a research project into sustainable energy. Opening chat – “just flew in from Vienna & taxi from the airport – taxi booked for 4, as got to be back tonight” – no doubt they’ll make a wonderful & insightful contribution. Sadly half academics flew in!

57 people are talking about this

That people are influenced by others is hardly a shocking result. Psychology researchers have spent decades amassing evidence about the powerful effects of social influence, while cultural evolution theory suggests we may have evolved to follow the example of those in prestigious positions because it helped us survive. Pick up any book on leadership in an airport shopping mall and it will likely trumpet the importance of leading by example.

Which raises the question: if our political and business leaders are serious about climate change, shouldn’t they be very visibly reducing their own carbon footprints to set an example to the rest of us? This is now the focus of my research.

But why me?

Global emissions inequality. Oxfam

Weaving an invisible thread through all of the above is the thorny issue of fairness and inequality. The wealthiest 10% of the global population are responsible for 50% of emissions, and plenty of that will be due to flying. In the UK, around 15% of people take 70% of the flights, while half of the population don’t fly at all in any one year. As emissions from aviation become an ever increasing slice of the total (currently around 9% in the UK, 2% globally) this inequality will become harder for everyone to ignore.

In the mean time, the debate about personal vs. collective action will continue. My research supports the arguments that this is a false dichotomy: individual action is part of the collective. So, while you won’t save the world on your own, you might be part of the solution.

https://theconversation.com/climate-change-yes-your-individual-action-does-make-a-difference-115169

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Be the change you want to see in the world: How individuals can help save the planet from climate catastrophe

1st April 2019

Be the change you want to see in the world

How energy use demands change through different milestones in life. Credit: HOPE Project

Individuals have as big a role to play in tackling climate change as major corporations but only if they can be encouraged to make significant lifestyle changes by effective government policy, a major new European study co-authored by a University of Sussex academic has found.

The study notes that voluntary lifestyle choices by well-meaning individuals would only achieve around half the required emission reductions needed to hit the 1.5 C Paris Agreement goal. But the authors suggest that Paris targets could be achieved if voluntary choices were combined with policies that target behavioural change, particularly around eating meat and using fewer cars and airplanes.

The study’s authors say the international climate policy debate has so far focused mainly on technology and economic incentives, relegating behaviour change to a voluntary add-on. This is despite the fact behavioural change has the potential for far greater than the political pledges made under the Paris Accord.

The study, written by academics from 11 institutions including the University of Sussex, investigated the preferences for reducing household emissions, responsible for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It involved hundreds of families in four European cities using a specially-designed simulation tool to indicate carbon and money savings from 65 lifestyle choices combined with in-depth surveys with household members.

It found  for policy initiatives that encouraged more  around food production but resistance to initiatives that restricted personal mobility and transport options. The study also found that ironically the areas where greatest lifestyle changes were required and the largest carbon footprints produced, such as aviation and changes to diet, had received the lowest policy attention to date.

Lead author Ghislain Dubois, founder of the TEC Conseil in France, said: “Our research proves that if supported by adequate policies, households can have a decisive contribution to the Paris agreement objectives. This is largely ignored by current climate policies and negotiations, which rely only on macro-economics and technology. We should dare envisaging and doing research on taboos like consumption reduction or sobriety. When you consider the impacts on CO2 emissions, but also on households’ budgets and the potential co-benefits, it is worth it.”

Professor Benjamin Sovacool, second author of the study and Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, added: “Our study underscores the contradictions we all have in balancing climate change with other priorities. We want to fight climate change, but stick to eating meat and driving our cars. There are certain changes we can make voluntarily but beyond that we need policy to step in.”

The study, published in the upcoming June edition of Energy Research and Social Science, found that the greater the potential actions have to reduce emissions, the less households were willing to implement them. In these areas “forced” solutions such as a considerably higher carbon tax on fuel and regulations encouraging food producers to reduce packaging or increase local and organic farming in addition to voluntary measures will be needed, the academics warn.

Carlo Aall, co-author of the study from the Western Norway Research Institute, said: “There is political room for taking a tougher stand on supporting economically and regulating household consumption to become more climate friendly. Meat consumption and long air trips in particular need to be addressed.”

Alina Herrmann, co-author from the Heidelberg Institute for Global Health said: “Strikingly, people were very open to climate friendly solutions in the food and recycling sector. We have found strong support for less packaged food, more sustainable food production and moderate reduction of meat consumption in our study population. Many participants even wished for external support to make such sustainable choices easier for them.”

However, in areas such as mobility, the authors recommend limiting the availability of greenhouse gas-intensive consumption through regulative instruments such bans, restrictions or increased taxes; balanced with making low-carbon alternatives more readily available.

Dr. Hermann added: “Changing mobility behaviour was seen as incredibly difficult. To gain acceptance for reduced mobility as part of societal transformation in the face of , and entirely new public discourse would be needed.”

Responses from the study revealed household carbon footprints are not static but can fluctuate significantly with major life events such as having children, experiencing illness or retiring.

The authors recommend that targeted interventions at these milestones could be highly effective in bringing about long-lasting change and suggested that intermediaries at these milestones, such as estate agents, car sales staff and retirement planners, could all play a much more active role in identifying carbon-reducing options.

https://phys.org/news/2019-04-world-individuals-planet-climate-catastrophe.html

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Because the adults of today have ignored the climate crisis, today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints

Children born today will have to live their lives with drastically smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents if climate change is to be controlled. Previous and existing generations have emitted nearly all the CO2 to get the world to 1.5C or 2C, so future generations will have to severely and rapidly cut the emissions from flying, meat consumption, heating, hot water and other activities in their lifetimes. An analysis has shown this means the new generation will have lifetime carbon budgets almost 90% lower than someone born before 1950. The figures suggest 734 tonnes CO2 is the lifetime budget for limiting global warming to 1.5C for someone born in 1957; 405 tonnes if born in 1987; 86 tonnes if born in 2017. This dramatically highlights the burden inherited by today’s children, an issue at the heart of the global school strikes for climate. A spokesman for the UK Student Climate Network said: “Those in positions of power – from politicians to business leaders – that have benefited from a much higher lifetime carbon budget [and all those flights] have a duty to act to ensure a liveable planet for current and future generations. Without appropriate action, those in power are sacrificing our tomorrow for their today.”
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Climate crisis: today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints

Next generation must keep their own carbon levels at a fraction of their grandparents’ in order to prevent catastrophe

Children born today will have to live their lives with drastically smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents if climate change is to be controlled.

Fast, deep cuts in global emissions from energy, transport and food are needed to keep temperature rises in check and an analysis has shown this means the new generation will have lifetime carbon budgets almost 90% lower than someone born in 1950.

The data dramatically highlighted the burden inherited by today’s children, an issue at the heart of the global school strikes for climate. Another major strike will take place in more than 70 nations on Friday.

The new analysis by the climate analysts Carbon Briefcombines data on emissions and population changes with climate models. It then calculates how much the average citizen on Earth can emit over their lifetime to keep temperature rises below 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels, the goal of the world’s nations to avoid climate catastrophe.

Previous and existing generations have emitted nearly all the carbon dioxide needed to take the world to 1.5C or 2C, meaning future generations will have to severely cut the emissions from flying, meat consumption and other activities in their lifetimes. The children and young people taking part in the youth strikes (born 1997-2012) will have carbon budgets just one sixth those of their baby boomer grandparents (1946-1964).

“As protests by school children increase each week around the world, our analysis starkly highlights the intergenerational injustice of climate change,” said Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief. “If warming is to be limited to safe levels, today’s children are going to have to greatly curtail their own lifetime emissions compared to older generations.”

The idea for the analysis came from Ben Caldecott, at the University of Oxford’s Sustainable Finance Programme. He said it is the first systematic use of emissions data to inform the debate about intergenerational responsibility for climate change and had produced some “uncomfortable numbers”.

“The purpose is not to fan the flames of rising intergenerational angst, but rather to provide some objective analysis to support dialogue between generations within countries and across them so we can tackle climate change,” he said. “The results will feed into intergenerational equity debates, for example in terms of access to housing, the availability of pensions, rising university tuition fees, changing retirement ages.”

There is a currently a wide gap between the average annual emissions of a US citizen (16.9 tonnes) and an Indian citizen (1.9 tonnes). The analysis showing that children born now would have a lifetime carbon budget 90% lower than their grandparents assumes the relative gap would remain.

But in a second analysis, Carbon Brief posited a future carbon budget that would be the same for every citizen on the planet. This would mean that the budget for a child born today in the US is even lower, 97% lower than that of that of their grandparents. For someone born today in Europe, their budget would be 94% lower.

“That those born today only have a carbon budget a fraction of the size of those from previous generations exemplifies the need for a transformative approach that puts social and economic justice at the heart of plans to tackle the climate crisis,” said Woodier. “We need massive investment in people and planet to transform our economies, and we need it urgently.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/10/climate-crisis-todays-children-face-lives-with-tiny-carbon-footprints?CMP=share_btn_tw

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SSE takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to JR on Stansted expansion, including its CO2 emissions

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Stop Stansted Expansion takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to judicial review

Campaigners against the expansion of Stansted Airport say they will use latest figures showing Ryanair as one of Europe’s biggest polluters in their latest judicial challenge.

The airline, which transports 130 million people a year, 21 million of whom currently travel through Stansted Airport, produced 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9 per cent on last year and 49 per cent over the past five years.

Brain Ross from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said that the group will include the data from the EU’s Transport & Environment group showing Ryanair as the tenth biggest CO2 emitter – all nine others are coal fired power stations – to prove the decision by Uttlesford District Council to approve the expansion of Stansted Airport to 43 million passengers per annum should be called in for determination by the government.

The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has already explained that his reason for not intervening was that the application does not involve issues of more than local importance.

But SSE considers this to be at odds with the facts that the noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, as is the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted Airport.

Mr Ross said: “That is part of our argument to the Secretary of State.

“Stansted produces about 3.7m tonnes of CO2 a year and Ryanair carries about 80 per cent of all passengers at Stansted.

“Of course it’s a big polluter and one of the arguments we put to Uttlesford District Council and one we will put to the High Court to get it called in is this is not just a local issue. It’s not just a national issue. It’s a global issue.

“You can’t just allow local authorities to approve an increase in carbon emissions as they like. There needs to be national co-ordination.”

The group has now taken a judicial review action against Mr Brokenshire for not deeming the application to be nationally significant and therefore for it not be called in under his powers.

In short, SSE believes that he was wrong to say that the further expansion of Stansted does not involve issues of more than local importance.

SSE already has an outstanding judicial review application against the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his decision of  June 28, 2018, to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by Uttlesford District Council.

This case was originally scheduled for a two-day High Court hearing in February, but has been delayed to await the decision of the Communities Secretary.

Mr Ross said: “We have got all the data we need to demonstrate the significance of this – we have got Department for Transport predictions for Stansted through to 2050 and the airport’s own projections – but actually as a little bit to spice up the application and bring it to life for the benefit of the judge we will almost bring the Ryanair figures to his attention.”

Ken O’Toole, London Stansted chief executive, previously welcomed the Government’s decision to allow Uttlesford District Council to decide on the airport’s expansion.

“From the outset our local community has been a vital partner in this planning process, and their feedback has shaped our proposals which do not seek an increase in the permitted number of flights, and commit us to achieving a smaller noise footprint in the future than our existing permissions require,” he said.

“Our application is in line with the government’s aviation policy which supports airports seeking to make best use of existing runway capacity, and our proposals have been endorsed by a wide range of independent public bodies as part of a thorough local decision-making process.

 “We have always believed that the application should be determined locally, and this view has been supported by the Secretary of State Transport and now also the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.”

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See earlier:

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport.  Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Click here to view full story…

Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 biggest carbon emitters, according to EU ETS figures. That is for flights within the EU.  Ryanair declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on 2017 and up 49% over the last 5 years. The only larger emitters of carbon within Europe are power stations. Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”  Emissions from airlines, have risen over 25% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors. EasyJet was 31st on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments…we need to drive down the demand for aviation.”

Click here to view full story…

Stop Stansted Expansion to start legal challenge to government decision not to call in expansion application

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has confirmed that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to approve the expansion of Stansted to 43 mppa.  Brokenshire said his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely wrong. In the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s 3rd busiest airport.  The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted flights this year will have significant adverse global impacts. SSE will apply to the High Court for a JR of Brokenshire’s decision. SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC.

Click here to view full story…

Government (James Brokenshire) rejects ‘call in’ of Stansted Airport planning application to increase passengers from 35m to 43 mppa

The Government has decided not to ‘call in’ Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last year.  In February 2018, Stansted Airport owners, Manchester Airports Group, submitted a planning application to UDC that sought permission for the airport to increase the annual passenger number from 35 to 43 million per year. UDC granted this planning permission in November 2018, by a narrow vote of the Planning Committee, only won by the Chairman’s casting vote. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has now written to say the decision by UDC is correct, saying:  “… the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying the secretary of state’s intervention.” That is, of course, wrong as planes using Stansted fly over a wide area. Brian Ross from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said the planning consent still faces a legal challenge from SSE, versus the transport secretary in the High Court, which began last September. The case has been on hold for 4 months, pending the decision, but SSE is now takin legal advice on whether to widen the basis of its legal challenge.

Click here to view full story…

UTTLESFORD COUNCIL PLANNING CHAIRMAN DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS VOTING FOR!

Following the decision of the Chairman of Uttlesford Planning Committee, Councillor Alan Mills, to use his (additional) casting vote in favour of the airport planning application, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, wrote to him to ask whether he had reviewed the latest important WHO Noise Guidelines, published on 10th October, prior to voting. The disturbing reply from Councillor Mills suggests that he was not aware of the WHO Guidelines and he believed the planning application was for 174,000 flights, rather than 274,000. He did not appear to have understood that the application was for an increase in flights, by about 25,000 per year, despite claiming to have read a third of the documents. Five councillors voted in favour of the Stansted application, but SSE has found that at least some of them had either not read, or had not understood, even the most basic information about the application. SSE said this is entirely unsatisfactory. It confirms that this application should be dealt with at a higher level than a small district council, with limited resources to deal with such a significant application with such widespread implications. SSE’s lawyers are now working on the detailed legal submissions to the Secretary of State on why he must now ‘call in’ the application for national determination.

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Uttlesford DC approves Stansted expansion plan, only by Chairman’s casting vote – but plans may now be “called in”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has expressed dismay and disappointment that the vote on 14th November)by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted’s planning application to grow – to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum (from the 35 million cap now).  If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared, to last year’s levels.  The Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with 5 in favour of the application (including the Planning Committee Chairman) and 5 against.  Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional (casting) vote – so he gets 2 votes.  Both BBC and ITV regional news teams filmed the session, which was attended by many local people.  UDC cannot issue a decision notice until the Sec of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire) has considered whether the application should be called in. This should have been done already, as the planned expansion is very near the threshold necessary – of an increase by 10 million annual passengers.  SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him (again) to call in the application. They are currently also legally challenging the decision.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.
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Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing airline polluter – the climate problem spans the aviation sector

Eight airlines grew their carbon emissions faster than Ryanair on flights within Europe last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Vueling and Norwegian and national carriers TAP, Finnair and Lufthansa all out-paced the Dublin-based carrier which retained its title of having the highest emissions on European routes in 2018, according to official EU data released this week.[1]

Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a problem for the whole airline sector, which governments have left untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from flights within Europe account for only 40% of the problem – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe and these are entirely unregulated.[2]

See larger size chart at

https://infogram.com/airlines-ets-data_2018-1hnq41y0qmqp43z

 

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “Airlines’ emissions are booming and not just on cheap flights. National carriers and low-cost airlines all benefit from paying no fuel tax and VAT while the rest of us must pay our way. Governments and the EU need to wake up, starting with a tax on kerosene and clean fuel mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

What’s more, aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Rather than taxing and regulating aviation emissions, governments are pursuing a controversial UN offsetting scheme for aviation that will allow aviation emissions to continue growing. There are serious doubts over the environmental effectiveness of carbon offsets. Airlines can emit even more carbon by buying very cheap offsets – where they invest in environmental projects, such as a hydrodam project which later collapsed, instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.

Andrew Murphy said: “It’s no surprise that aviation emissions continue to soar as governments have wasted two decades trying to make offsetting work. It’s now time to call it quits on this failed climate policy, and instead focus on proven measures – taxing kerosene, and ultimately replacing it with zero-emission fuels.”

Notes to editors:

[1] Eurowings’ emissions grew 83% in the same period, however this is largely through merging emissions with Air Berlin and germanwings.

[2] EASA Environment Report, 2019.

https://www.easa.europa.eu/eaer/

 


See also

Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 biggest carbon emitters, according to EU ETS figures. That is for flights within the EU.  Ryanair declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on 2017 and up 49% over the last 5 years. The only larger emitters of carbon within Europe are power stations. Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”  Emissions from airlines, have risen over 25% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors. EasyJet was 31st on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments…we need to drive down the demand for aviation.”

Click here to view full story…

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Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

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‘Ryanair is the new coal’: airline enters EU’s top 10 emitters list

Irish firm joins nine coal plants on list, with carbon emissions up nearly 50% in last five years

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters, according to EU figures.

The Irish airline, which transports 130 million people a year, declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on last year and 49% over the last five years, according to data in the EU’s latest emissions trading system registry.

All the numbers per company, by country, can be seen at 

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/clima/files/ets/registry/docs/verified_emissions_2018_en.xlsx

Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at the European Federation for Transport and Environment, said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, dismissed climate change concerns as “complete and utter rubbish” in an interview two years ago. His airline is now ranked as Europe’s 10th worst emitter, after nine coal plants. Poland’s Bełchatów is the worst polluter, producing 38 megatonnes of planet-warming emissions annually.

Coal emissions are falling, though, as Europe’s transition to cleaner energy continues. In stark contrast, emissions from airlines, which are exempted from fuel taxes and VAT on tickets, have soared by 26.3% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors.

Ryanair did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

EasyJet was Europe’s next worst-performing airline, in 31st place on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. It was followed by Lufthansa, Norwegian and British Airways, according to analysis of the EU data by the thinktank Sandbag and Transport and Environment.

Aviation is responsible for about 3% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, but industry forecasts suggest this could rise by up to 700% by 2050 as the sector grows.

Murphy described aviation as “Europe’s biggest climate failure”. Europe’s airlines pay about €800m (£680m) a year for their rights to pollute. But some studies suggest this sum is eclipsed by the €27bn they would have to stump up if their fuel tax and VAT exemptions were ended.

Despite increased attention from policymakers, the sector receives up to 85% of its EU emissions trading allowances free, with Ryanair consequently saving €96.6m in 2018.

Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments.

“If we genuinely care for our children’s futures, we need to drive down the demand for aviation. This will require stringent regulations focusing on frequent fliers rather than those taking the occasional trip.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/01/ryanair-new-coal-airline-enters-eu-top-10-emitters-list?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

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Ryanair joins the club of Europe’s top 10 carbon polluters

Ryanair is now one of the top 10 carbon emitters within Europe, a league which had until now been exclusively occupied by coal plants. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the airline’s No 10 ranking, revealed in official figures released today, reflects Europe’s failure to put in place effective measures to rein in the runaway emissions growth of aviation, which pays no taxes on its fuel and VAT on its tickets.

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

T&E said it is no surprise that the most undertaxed mode of transport is also the one with the fastest growing CO2 emissions. That needs to end. Airlines should have their free emissions allowances in the EU emissions trading system removed, start paying tax on their kerosene, and be subject to VAT on their tickets – like all other transport sectors. Radically cutting aviation emissions would also require a shift to synthetic kerosene, produced from renewable electricity and carbon captured from the air.

But, instead, governments are pursuing a controversial UN offsetting scheme for aviation, known as Corsia, which will allow aviation emissions to continue growing. There are serious doubts over the environmental effectiveness of carbon offsets. Airlines can emit even more carbon by buying ultra-cheap offsets – where they invest in environmental projects, such as a hydrodam project which later collapsed, instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.

Andrew Murphy concluded: “Aviation is Europe’s biggest climate failure. The worst thing we can do in response is to put all our hopes in an offsetting scheme that gives airlines a license to grow indefinitely. But that is exactly what airlines have cooked up at the industry-dominated UN aviation agency. The time has come for a big change in Europe’s aviation policy.”

Note to editors:

[1] For emissions that were not lodged on time, 2018 emissions have been set to 2017. Only open ETS accounts are considered. For aviation, this assumption amounts to 5.5 Mt, approximately 8% of the verified reported emissions.

[2] The data is for emissions of flights within the current EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), which covers flights within Europe, with some exceptions (flights to the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores). In many cases, airlines’ global emissions will be even higher.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/press/ryanair-joins-club-europe%E2%80%99s-top-10-carbon-polluters

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See also

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Click here to view full story…

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ICAO blocks any critics on Twitter and describes comments on aviation and climate as “fake news”

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is dismissing factual critiques and blocking Twitter accounts that raise concerns about the climate change impact of flying, accusing them of “fake news” and “spam”. A number of campaigners and researchers complain they have been barred from following @ICAO on Twitter, including famous and respected climate scientist, Kevin Anderson. ICAO’s combative approach to public engagement has drawn wider criticism, with environmental journalists describing it as “spectacularly ill-judged” and “self-defeating“. On Wednesday, Steve Westlake, a behavioural scientist at Cardiff University, shared a screenshot showing Icao had blocked him. It came after he responded to 3 ICAO tweets by sharing a comment from Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg arguing most airport expansions were incompatible with meeting international climate goals. That analysis is uncontroversial. Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. AEF commented that “Climate leadership should always begin with open and transparent debate about the issues and challenges, so this is worrying.” 
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‘Fake news’: UN aviation body blocks online climate critics

The International Civil Aviation Organization is dismissing factual critiques and blocking accounts that raise concerns about the climate change impact of flying

The UN’s aviation body is blocking climate critics on Twitter, accusing them of “fake news” and “spam”.

A number of campaigners and researchers complain they have been barred from following the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) account, after posting messages about aviation emissions.

Icao’s combative approach to public engagement has drawn wider criticism, with environmental journalists describing it as “spectacularly ill-judged” and “self-defeating“.

On Wednesday, Steve Westlake, a behavioural scientist at Cardiff University, shared a screenshot showing Icao had blocked him. It came after he responded to three Icao tweets by sharing a comment from Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg arguing most airport expansions were incompatible with meeting international climate goals.

That analysis is uncontroversial. Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The sector’s emissions target, negotiated in Icao, is not aligned with the Paris Agreement, which calls for global warming to be held at 1.5C or below 2C.

A few hours later, Icao tweeted a poem declaring “spam, fake news or plain abuse/fall outside our terms of use”. In response to critics, it insisted: “We don’t want to reduce activists’ focus on #aviationemissions. We in fact encourage it. For it to be effective, it should be fact-based and well-targeted. Abuse, spam, and misinformation are not helpful to anyone.”

About :
Spam, , or plain abuse,
Fall outside our terms of use!
We will not have this behaviour here,
And thus we must again declare,
We will not engage with you if you dare,
To pollute our feed through clear misuse!

More:
https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/social-media.aspx 

See @ICAO’s other Tweets

Other users to fall foul of Icao’s social media account include British academic Kevin Anderson, who champions a moral case for flying less, and Vincent van Oort, who described Icao’s carbon offsetting scheme as “weak” and called for “fair taxation” to reflect the sector’s environmental impact.

It is not just climate campaigners: user Pierre-Yves Baubry appears to have been blocked for asserting that Taiwan controlled its own airspace, not Icao member state China.

Kevin Anderson@KevinClimate

Just noticed that I’ve been blocked by the international civil aviation authority @icao Have others working on aviation emissions also been blocked? Appears to be that their commitment to open skies does not extend to open (& courteous) debate?

142 people are talking about this

Asked to explain the policy, Anthony Philbin, head of communications at Icao, told Climate Home News: “Normally we block campaigners after they have repeatedly ignored our advice that the actual decisions regarding their concerns are being made by sovereign nation states.

“There is a common tendency among persons not familiar with multilateral governance to identify the decisions made through Icao as being ‘Icao’s decisions’, and to subsequently direct criticisms at our organisation for being somehow negligent or irresponsible regarding the targets and outcomes countries decide on together here.

“I’m sure you can understand that such misperceptions and false accusations can be unduly damaging to our reputation as an effective multilateral agency.”

Westlake said he had had no such advice or counterargument from Icao before he was blocked, nor had he posted on their timeline before.

Icao is the forum for countries to regulate emissions from aviation. Its member states agreed in 2016 to cap net emissions at 2020 levels. That is set to be largely achieved by airlines paying for emissions cuts in other sectors, to offset their growth.

The details of the carbon offsetting scheme are being negotiated largely behind closed doors. Earlier this month, campaigners welcomed a decision to prevent double-counting of emissions savings, but warned the process was vulnerable to industry capture and weak environmental integrity.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/03/27/un-aviation-body-calls-online-climate-critics-fake-news/

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) commented:

Climate leadership should always begin with open and transparent debate about the issues and challenges, so this is worrying:

 

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Heathrow finally shortlists 18 areas as possible sites for its 4 “logistics hubs” – out of the original 65 possible areas

Heathrow has – for several years – been dangling the carrot of being one of 4 “logistics hubs” around the UK, for its expansion plans, to over 65 possible sites. It was a way to get local support from MPs, councils, business etc.  It has now made a list of 18 shortlisted sites that “remain in the running to help deliver the infrastructure project”. So that leaves 47 sites disappointed and let down.  Heathrow makes out that these are going to bring “jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity.” And it will be “sustainable” due to “transporting assembled components in consolidated loads.” The sites shortlisted have “showcased a strong base of local support, their area’s thriving supply chain, convenient connectivity links and the potential to tap into a skilled workforce.” So those 18 shortlisted are still kept on tenterhooks, to see if they might get lucky, eventually.  In the autumn, they will have the opportunity to pitch to the airport for their chance to become one of the final 4 construction centres, to be announced early next year, ahead of work [possibly, bearing in mind all the legal and planning hurdles] “starting in 2021”. 
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Heathrow reveals shortlisted sites in the running to deliver once-in-a-generation expansion project

28 March, 2019

Heathrow’s press release below

Heathrow Logistics hubs shortlist
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  • Heathrow unveils 18 shortlisted sites that remain in the running to help deliver the infrastructure project of a generation – Britain’s new runway
  • These sites are key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that Heathrow expansion will bring – creating jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity
  • There are further opportunities for the UK’s regions and nations to play a part in the project’s delivery at Heathrow’s Business Summits, events held across the country connecting the nation’s SMEs to opportunities in Heathrow’s supply chain

Heathrow today announces the names and locations of the 18 shortlisted sites that remain in the running to help deliver the expanded airport, signalling the project has reached a new and significant milestone on its path to delivery.

The shortlisted sites all vary in size, location and age with Britain’s largest steelworks firm, a former Michelin Site, which at its peak was one of the company’s main manufacturing plans, Scotland’s largest airport and one of the main ports in Wales all featuring on the shortlist. But the sites have made it to this stage as they have showcased a strong base of local support, their area’s thriving supply chain, convenient connectivity links and the potential to tap into a skilled workforce.

The sites have been selected from a longlist of 65, all of which were visited during a nationwide tour which concluded in the summer of 2018. The longlisted locations were then all invited to take part in a pre-qualification questionnaire which helped to determine which sites were best placed to be involved in the delivery of Britain’s largest infrastructure project. In the autumn, the 18 sites shortlisted will now have the opportunity to pitch to the airport’s bosses for their chance to become one of the final four construction centres, to be announced early next year, ahead of work starting in 2021.

The final four sites will become offsite construction centres that will help to deliver Britain’s new runway bringing  jobs and economic opportunities to every corner of the country as Heathrow looks to construct as much of the expanded airport offsite as possible. This innovative approach will also help to make the project more affordable and sustainable – by transporting assembled components in consolidated loads.

In addition to the economic opportunities, the Logistics Hubs will bring to the whole of the UK, Heathrow’s ongoing Business Summit series will also provide small businesses throughout the country the opportunity to become part of Heathrow’s supply chain ahead of expansion. The 11 summits are spread throughout various regions and nations across the country, organised in conjunction with regional business groups such as Chambers of Commerce, LEPs and the FSB, giving hundreds of SMEs access to one-on-one appointments with Heathrow’s top suppliers.

Speaking at the BCC annual conference Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion said:

Our expansion plans are progressing apace and continue to be refined thanks to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK. Logistics hubs are key to achieving that. This innovative approach will be more cost effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much needed capacity quickly and responsibly.

“Logistics hubs are also integral to harnessing the skills the UK needs post-Brexit. We are working with other major infrastructure projects to see if they might also benefit from these hubs, creating a bright, new future for the UK’s construction sector. One in which we’re better utilising new technology and offsite techniques to spread the benefits of major projects like expansion nationwide.”

Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“A strong skills base and high-performing infrastructure network are vital to securing the UK’s economic future in the long-term. We are pleased that Heathrow is consulting with so many business communities from the Chamber of Commerce Network to ensure that its expansion plans can benefit the whole of the country.

“We look forward to hearing more of these plans from Heathrow at the BCC Annual Conference.”

Business Minister Lord Henley said:

“Heathrow’s announcement today moves their vision for UK-wide Logistics Hubs a step closer to being realised.

“Spreading the social and economic benefits of major infrastructure development across the UK is to be applauded as an example of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in action, aimed at delivering high skilled jobs and an advanced economy.”

End

Heathrow will be the first major infrastructure project in the UK to pioneer the large-scale use of Logistics Hubs – aiming to build as much of the project offsite as possible. The hubs will work by pre-assembling components offsite before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow just as they are needed. This method will boost the project’s efficiency and cut emissions by transporting components to site in fewer lorries. Research by WPI Economics revealed that integrating an offsite manufacturing supply chain into a major project has the potential to reduce the overall cost of the project by as much as 25% whilst speeding up delivery by up to 30%.

For more information visit: https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Heathrow_Logistics_Brochure_25.04.17.pdf

and there is a long-list of the sites at

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Brand-News-22/10886

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Heathrow Airport reveals shortlist for locations to help build third runway

Eighteen potential ‘logistics hubs’ have been announced as the British Chambers of Commerce prepares to hold its annual conference

By Ben GlazeDeputy Political Editor (Mirror)
28 MAR 2019

Heathrow Airport today unveils 18 sites which are in the running to benefit from its third runway.

Bosses announced 18 locations on its shortlist to host “logistics hubs” for offsite construction for major parts of the controversial £14billion project.

Transport chiefs want to build as much of the facility as possible outside the congested South East.

Some 65 places were on the longlist, all of which were visited during a nationwide tour that finished last summer.

Places whose chances of being picked are boosted today include ABP in Cardiff, Lillyhall in Cumbria, British Steel in Scunthorpe and Burton Superhub in Burton-on-Trent, Staffs.

The winners will be announced early next year, with work starting in 2021.

The runway could be completed by 2026, depending on legal battles and planning permissions.

Those eventually chosen will be “key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that Heathrow expansion will bring – creating jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity”, the airport said.

Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, Emma Gilthorpe, will tell the British Chambers of Commerce conference in London today: “Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK.

“Logistics hubs are key to achieving that. This innovative approach will be more cost effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much-needed capacity quickly and responsibly.”

British Chambers of Commerce co-executive director Claire Walker said: “A strong skills base and high-performing infrastructure network are vital to securing the UK’s economic future in the long-term.

“We are pleased that Heathrow is consulting with so many business communities from the Chamber of Commerce Network to ensure that its expansion plans can benefit the whole of the country.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/heathrow-airport-reveals-shortlist-locations-14194831

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See earlier

 

No 3rd Runway Coalition letter in Yorkshire Post: “Few benefits for regions if Heathrow is allowed to expand”

In a letter by the No 3rd Runway Coalition (NoR3)  in the Yorkshire Post, they explain how Heathrow has been conducting a variety of lavishly funded public relations exercises to counter the widely held perception that its expansion would be yet another South-East-centric project, which can only further entrench the UK’s economic divisions. So Heathrow has claimed that a number of regions will become “logistic” hubs for the 3rd runway’s construction. Just 4 of these “hubs” will be chosen, but 65 regions are invited to bid – building up their hopes (and driving support for the runway). The NoR3 coalition say “By the time the 61 losers learn who they are, it is hoped that their regional leaders will have sold their souls, speaking up Heathrow expansion, to curry favour with the airport. Clever. But cynical. Equally contemptuous is the way in which Heathrow is using this stunt to claim economic benefits for the country, which is knows is not supported by the latest figures.” The correct figures for economic benefits for the UK from the runway are tiny (NPV – when costs are taken into account – of just £3.3 billion, for all the UK over 60 years, or even a negative figure…) and it is likely any possible benefits will be for the South East. Not the regions. Regional business people need to ask serious questions of Heathrow (and the DfT) on the reality of purported jobs and investment. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/11/no-3rd-runway-coalition-letter-in-yorkshire-post-few-benefits-for-regions-if-heathrow-is-allowed-to-expand/

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Heathrow plans 4 regional construction hubs for proposed runway, to give the impression of spreading jobs around UK

Four UK construction hubs are being sought by Heathrow to allow components of its £16bn expansion project to be built away from the airport. The logistics hubs will pre-assemble components for the proposed 3rd runway before transporting them to the airport. Heathrow claims this will make the project cheaper, and provide some jobs to other parts of the country. This form of construction may have been used in the housebuilding sector but had only had a “limited” role in major British infrastructure projects. The areas to have these construction hubs need to have good connectivity (road, rail?), have “a relevant supply chain and strong local skills”.  Areas need to apply by July 31st, with a list of potential sites expected to be announced later this year.  The airport can only start submitting its development consent order if the NPS is voted for in Parliament, and if the government wins the legal challenges. That could not be before spring 2018. Heathrow hopes, perhaps unrealistically, to have its runway built and working by 2025. Heathrow says it has used off-site locations before, with large parts of the structural steelwork for Terminal 2 building constructed in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In October 2016 the Scottish government said: “Heathrow will work with the Scottish Government to investigate Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.”  No mention of that now? 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/heathrow-plans-4-regional-construction-hubs-for-proposed-runway-to-give-the-impression-of-spreading-jobs-around-uk/

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SNP misled by Heathrow inflated claims of number of jobs for Scotland due to a 3rd runway

The SNP decided to give its backing to a Heathrow runway, rather than one at Gatwick – having been led to believe that the only choice on offer was between these two. They were led, by Heathrow PR, to believe there would be greater benefits for Scotland. The SNP hoped to get exports from Scotland (salmon and razor clams) shipped through Heathrow. The Airports Commission came up with a figure of economic benefit from a Heathrow runway of UP TO £147 billion to all the UK over 60 years. Heathrow got a consultancy called Quod to work out the number of jobs. They came up with the figure of 16,100 jobs for Scotland (over 60 years) from the runway. The DfT has now downgraded the £147 billion figure, as it included various speculative elements, and double counted benefits. The new figure (also still far higher than the reality) from the DfT is UP TO £61 billion for the UK over 60 years. That, pro rata, would mean up to about 9,300 jobs for Scotland – not 16,100. It is unfortunate that the SNP were misinformed, as were other MPs, Chambers of Commerce etc across the regions.  Heathrow also pledged benefits for Scotland such as using its steel for construction, and using Prestwick as a base. The Scottish Green party see the SNP backing of a Heathrow runway as a betrayal of those badly affected by it, and of Scotland’s climate commitments.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/snp-misled-by-heathrow-inflated-claims-of-number-of-jobs-for-scotland-due-to-a-3rd-runway/

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Kings College research: Teenage psychotic experiences more common in areas with high air pollution

A new study (in JAMA Psychiatry) by researchers at Kings College London has found it is likely that teenagers living on polluted roads are about 40% more likely to be psychotic. There seems to be a connection between the air pollution and why adolescents in cities are twice as likely to suffer psychosis as those in rural areas.  It is not proof that the pollution causes psychosis, but it adds to mounting evidence that NOx and particulates can do far-reaching damage to the brain and lungs. They may contribute to the development of dementia and depression, as well as possibly harming the unborn foetus, by entering the placenta.  The recent study used data on 2,232 teenagers in England and Wales who were asked about psychotic experiences, such as whether they heard voices or felt they were being watched. About a third had such experiences. While most will grow out of them, these teenagers are at higher risk of going on to suffer full-blown psychosis. The answers were compared with detailed modelling of pollution levels at the teenagers’ homes. The link remained significant even after adjusted for class, drug use, family history of mental illness etc. Heathrow is a huge source of air pollution, from its planes and associated road traffic. 

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Teenage psychotic experiences more common in areas with high air pollution

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence.

27.3.2019  (Kings College website)

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/news-article?id=4ccf84a5-2e65-4023-b08d-bae7516dca08

from which most of the information in the Times article comes.

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The study itself is in JAMA at  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2729441

Association of Air Pollution Exposure With Psychotic Experiences During Adolescence

27.3.2019

Teenage psychosis linked to air pollution in cities for first time

Teenagers living on polluted roads are about 40% more likely to be psychotic, the first study of its kind finds.

Air pollution goes a long way to explaining why adolescents in cities are twice as likely to suffer psychosis as those in rural areas, researchers said.

While the study does not prove that traffic fumes cause psychosis, experts said it added to mounting evidence that dirty air can do far-reaching damage to the brain and lungs.

Fine particles and nitrous oxides in the air have long been known to cause breathing and heart problems. Evidence is emerging that they can contribute to depression and dementia.

In the latest study, researchers have used data on 2,232 teenagers in England and Wales who were asked about psychotic experiences, such as whether they heard voices or felt they were being watched. About a third had such experiences. While most will grow out of them, these teenagers are at higher risk of going on to suffer full-blown psychosis.

The answers were compared with detailed modelling of pollution levels at the teenagers’ homes. Joanne Newbury, of King’s College London, lead author of the paper, said that psychotic experiences were significantly more common among teenagers exposed to higher levels of air pollution.

“For example, teenagers exposed to the highest levels of nitrous oxides had 72 per cent greater odds for psychotic experiences compared with those with lower exposure,” she said.

This means that 38 per cent of adolescents reported psychotic experiences in the quarter of areas with the highest nitrous dioxide levels, compared with 27 per cent of the quarter with the lowest, an increased risk of roughly 40 per cent.

The link remained significant even after this was adjusted for class, drug use, family history of mental illness and other factors, according to results presented in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Helen Fisher, senior author, also of King’s College London, said that the results did not show cause and effect. She added, however: “It could be that smaller particles are getting into the brain and causing inflammation.”

Highly volatile chemicals carried deep into the body by pollution could also be contributing.

Daniel Maughan, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This new research builds on increasing evidence of a likely link between air pollution and mental health issues. We need a radical approach to air pollution as it is very likely damaging the mental health of young and older people alike.”

Sophie Dix, director of research at the mental health charity MQ, said: “This study is significant because it provides a starting point with a possible link between pollution and psychosis.

“There is no evidence that pollution necessarily causes psychosis or whether this is one of many factors or acting in isolation. There is a bigger picture here but that does not diminish the importance of these findings.”

Stefan Reis, of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said: “This new study makes a compelling case to investigate a range of mental health outcomes of air pollution exposure. Other variables worth studying could include academic attainment in early life stages and cognitive decline in old age due to early-life exposure to air pollution.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/air-pollution-traffic-fumes-linked-to-teenage-pyschosis-study-finds-tw9swg20w+

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See earlier:

TAG: Heathrow air pollution does NOT stop 2km from the airport, or just 1,000ft altitude. DfT is wrong

Teddington Action Group (TAG) have been doing research into how likely it is that air pollution will get worse, if Heathrow is allowed a 3rd runway. Their investigations indicate that government has not assessed this properly, and has ignored relevant available information from other airports. TAG say that according to Heathrow, emissions from planes do not contribute notably to emissions once the plane is above 1,000ft. The Airports Commission and DfT and its advisors set a study area of just 2 kilometres from the expanded airport boundary. There is much evidence to indicate that is wrong. Planes emit significant amounts of NO2 and particulates, which find their way down to the ground (and by definition into humans and living creatures as well as vegetation). The DfT deny this but the empirical evidence does not support the DfT. Studies between 2014 and 2016 at Los Angeles, Atlanta and Schiphol, Amsterdam, strongly suggest otherwise. Mobile monitors set up under the inward flight paths show that particulates and NO2 are transmitted by the wind up to some 20 kilometres down wind. See full article for details.

Click here to view full story…

Alistair Osborne of the Times: Heathrow expansion shows Gove’s air pollution strategy is hot air

In a blog by Alistair Osborne, of the Times, he says on air pollution: “No government minister ever got anywhere without being able to think two contradictory ideas at once. So why should Michael Gove be different? The environment secretary’s just published his Clean Air Strategy, complete with the rallying cry: “We must take strong, urgent action.” And what sort of action has the government he represents got in mind? That’s right: building a £14 billion 3rd runway at Heathrow. Yes, the same one that transport secretary Chris Grayling admits may well cause more pollution. Or, as last year’s Airports National Policy Statement put it: “Increases in emissions of pollutants during the construction or operational phases of the scheme could result in the worsening of local air quality.” Bizarrely, the H-word doesn’t get a mention in Mr Gove’s 109-page document. But maybe he didn’t want to draw attention to one awkward fact: that air quality around the airport is already in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions.  Read the whole article  …..

Click here to view full story…

Study identifies heavy metals in high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne nanoparticles around Trudeau airport.

A recent study by scientists at Montreal’s McGill university has found unusually high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne aerosols containing nanoparticles around Montreal’s Trudeau airport. Some contained chromium and arsenic. The study, published in December 2018 in the prestigious journal “Environmental Pollution” found these observations were statistically higher than corresponding measurements in downtown Montreal and at major highways during rush hour. The airport is thus a hotspot for nanoparticles containing “emerging contaminants” (substances produced by human activities that have, or are suspected to have, adverse ecological and/or human health effects.) The study found trends in levels of nanoparticles during the day showed concentrations that exhibited peaks during times with many flights, also showing correlations with pollutants (CO, NOx, and O3) – confirming the  anthropogenic source of the aerosols. The nanoparticles, especially containing heavy metals, are potentially a matter of public health. The study detected up to 2 million particles per cubic centimetre of air, which is more than the amount found so far at other airports.  More studies need to be carried out, as health is at stake.

Click here to view full story…

Teddington TAG shows London Assembly data proves Heathrow NOx travels far, far away from the airport (not just Grayling’s “2km”)

The Airports Commission had, as its study area for the effects of Heathrow expansion, an area of just 2 kilometres from the boundary of the expanded airport. Chris Grayling wrote to the Chair of the Transport Committee on the 23rd February 2018 saying that this area “captures over 98% of additional emissions that could occur from expansion”. Teddington TAG asks if this figure of 98% emissions captured within 2 km of the boundary is true. They located air pollution data from the London Assembly, available by Borough. It apportions how much of the NOx in different areas is from vehicles, aviation and other sources. This shows that in Richmond Old Deer Park, according to the Data Apportionment Tool, about 77% of the NOx is from aviation. In Kew / North Sheen, 11km from touch-down, about 57% is from aviation.  At Putney, which is under the flight path but is over 15 km from touch-down at Heathrow, about 33% of the NOx is from aviation. Putney is worse off than Kew as total emissions are greater. And all that is just from 2 runways! Aviation apportionment readings stretch back to Clapham Junction and beyond. So why did Grayling tell the Transport Committee that 98% was within 2km.  Ignorance of the facts? Failure to be properly informed?

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Air pollution by NOx linked to much greater risk of dementia

Research published in the BMJ indicates there is an increase in the chance of developing dementia. About 131,000 patients in London aged between 50 and 79 were followed for 7 years, with air pollution exposure estimated by post code. People over 50 in areas with the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air showed a 40% greater risk of developing dementia than those with the least NOx pollution, according to data from London. The observational study cannot establish that air pollution was a direct cause of the dementia cases, but the link between higher pollution and higher levels of dementia diagnosis could not be explained by other factors known to raise risks of the disease.  Air pollution has already been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, but this is one of the first studies to examine links with neurodegenerative illness.  It is possible that perhaps 60,000 of the total 850,000 dementia cases in the UK may be made worse by air pollution.  This adds to the body of research on the wide-ranging effects of air pollution, including evidence that particles of pollutants can cross the placenta – an evidence from  China of a “huge” reduction in intelligence associated with breathing dirty air, equivalent to losing a year’s education.

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Air pollution particles found in mothers’ placentas

Scientists have found the first evidence that particles of air pollution travel through pregnant women’s lungs and lodge in their placentas. Toxic air is already strongly linked to harm in foetuses but how the damage is done is unknown. The new study, involving mothers living in London, UK, revealed sooty particles in the placentas of each of their babies and researchers say it is quite possible the particles entered the foetuses too. A series of previous studies have shown that air pollution significantly increases the risk of premature birth and of low birth weight, leading to lifelong damage to health. A large study of more than 500,000 births in London, published in December, confirmed the link and led doctors to say that the implications for many millions of women in polluted cities around the world are “something approaching a public health catastrophe”. Scientists are increasingly finding that air pollution results in health problems far beyond the lungs. In August, research revealed that air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, while in 2016 toxic nanoparticles from air pollution were discovered in human brains.

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Data shows the NOx produced by Heathrow planes is over double that produced by road vehicles

There is a widely held belief that Heathrow’s NO2 air pollution is largely due to road vehicles, and as long as measures can be taken to reduce these a bit, then a 3rd runway could be allowed. However, research indicates that the aircraft are producing even more NOx than the road vehicles, and there is far less that can be done to cut these emissions. Indeed, if there were to be almost 50% more Heathrow flights, the amount of NOx generated by the aircraft alone would mean a massive increase locally. That is not taking into account all the extra road traffic that would inevitably be generated by a larger Heathrow, including businesses etc that locate near the airport and all their traffic. The 2013 figures from a study for Heathrow, by Ricardo-AEA Ltd show the amount of NOx emitted from planes up to 1000 metres altitude was 2761 tonnes NOx/ year, and 1524 tonnes from aircraft on the ground (ie a total of 4285 tonnes/ year). Also 274 tonnes/year from other airport sources. Then 350 tonnes/year from Heathrow associated trips on main roads in a 11km x 11km area, and 1661 tonnes/ year from non-Heathrow associated traffic in that 11x11km area. (ie. a total of 2011 for all road traffic). So the amount from planes is way over twice the amount from road vehicles. And that ignores the NOx from planes in the wider area, over 1000 metres altitude.

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Flybe’s Newquay link with Heathrow takes off courtesy of taxpayer PSO subsidy (£6.2m over 8 years)

From next weekend people flying between Newquay and Heathrow will get a £5 subsidy each, from UK taxpayers. There will be 4 flights per day both ways. Newquay airport is not particularly near anywhere – other than surfing beaches. The service will be Heathrow’s only subsidised service, run under a public service obligation (PSO).  PSOs are defined under European aviation regulations as “scheduled air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of the region they serve”.   That means for routes where there is not enough demand to even half fill a small regional aircraft and that to attract a commercial operator to fly the route, the government has to provide a financial incentive. The cost to the taxpayer over 4 years for this will be £3.4 million. (For 180,000 pax per year that works out at £5 each. But there were only <93,000 pax in 2013). The pendulum is swinging back to Heathrow, however.Heathrow has set aside a £10 million fund to incentivise domestic airline route development – needed to persuade regional MPs to back the runway.

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Flybe’s Newquay link with Heathrow takes off courtesy of taxpayer

From next weekend air travellers will be given the equivalent of a £5 bung, courtesy of the taxpayer, to use Newquay airport in Cornwall for four flights a day both ways to Heathrow

The airport is not particularly near anywhere.

It is handy for the renowned Fistral surfing beach and the beautiful Bedruthan Steps, as well as the fleshpot that Newquay turns itself into for a few short weeks in July and August.

Falmouth, however, Cornwall’s largest metropolis, is nearly an hour away on a good day.

The service will be Heathrow’s only subsidised service, run under a public service obligation (PSO).

PSOs are defined under European aviation regulations as “scheduled air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of the region they serve”.

Or in other words, it is for routes where the authorities are sad there is not enough demand to even half fill a small regional aircraft and that to attract a commercial operator to fly the route, the government has to stump up a financial incentive.

In this instance it is Flybe, the recently taken-private UK regional carrier, which over four years will be paid £3.4 million to fly its 80-seater turboprops on the one hour ten minute journey.

Given that Flybe expects 180,000 passenger journeys a year, that works out at about £5 per passenger per trip.

PSOs are relatively rare in Britain though they do exist, for instance, between London Stansted and City of Derry airport in Northern Ireland and Dundee in Scotland. EU data suggests that such subsidised travel is much more prevalent on the Continent, especially in France and Italy.

Flybe has been operating a similarly subsidised service to Newquay from Gatwick but the switch to Heathrow has been possible after British Airways was forced to give up take-off and landing slots at its main hub – Heathrow – as a result of its acquisition of British Midland.

Heathrow gives Flybe another angle. “It will have a similar passenger profile but there will be more connecting passengers,” Christine Ourmières-Widener, the airline’s chief executive, said of the ability of travellers from Cornwall to hop on to a plane bound for anywhere in the world and for in-bound tourists to come in search of pasties, clotted cream teas and unreliable weather.

Flybe is partly owned by Virgin Atlantic, which in turn is effectively controlled by Delta Air Lines of the US, which demonstrates the future opportunities.

Heathrow spent many years after its privatisation three decades ago unwinding commitments to fly to every bit of tarmac around the British Isles to the point today when only eight regional airports are connected to it.

The pendulum is swinging back to Heathrow, however. The cost of parliamentary support for its £14 billion third runway has led Heathrow to re-commit to the regions. Those eight domestic routes (Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester and Belfast) will grow to ten from next weekend with the addition of Newquay — the sole PSO route — and another new Flybe service to Guernsey.

“Improving domestic connectivity is a huge priority for the airport,” said a spokesman for Heathrow, which has set aside a £10 million fund to incentivise domestic airline route development.  [That is only IF there is a 3rd runway – not unless. See details here ]

PSO subsidy or not, passengers between Heathrow and Newquay may not discern much change in their fares. As airlines do, Flybe has all sorts of add-ons, from baggage and seat reservations to executive lounge usage and time of flight.

What that means is that the swift-of-mouse may bag a £35.50 online ticket but others may be charged as much as £260 one way. And once in bucolic Cornwall, as there’s no train link there’s also the price of a cab . . .

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/newquay-link-with-heathrow-takes-off-courtesy-of-taxpayer-59v9fhznv

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See earlier:

 

DfT signs 2nd PSO to pay £2.5 million so Flybe can profitably maintain Newquay to Gatwick route

The Government will pay £2.5 million, and Cornwall Council will pay £300,000, in a 4-year funding deal to enable Flybe to profitably operate flights between Newquay and Gatwick. The DfT says the public service obligation (PSO) will continue a link.  There will be 3 flights each way on weekdays and 2 at weekends. The aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, said keeping the region connected to London is a “vital part of our long-term economic plan” and Danny Alexander said the route ”is vital for Cornwall’s businesses, tourist industry and residents” and “with a return rate of nearly £3 for every £1 invested, it’s a great deal for the UK taxpayer, as well as for the south-west.” The DfT says Flybe will operate the flights with the timings providing a convenient schedule for a full working day [eh? holiday-makers?] at either destination.” EasyJet took over Flybe’s Gatwick slots when the service ended in March this year, but decided to drop the Newquay service. There were about 92,600 passengers flying between Gatwick and Newquay in 2013, so over 4 years the £2.8 million would be about £7.50 each. Could the fare not rise by that amount, to save having to subsidise?  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/23638/

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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.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/03/heathrow-would-spend-10-million-to-increase-some-domestic-flights-only-if-granted-a-3rd-runway-to-get-backing-from-regions/

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Stop Stansted Expansion to start legal challenge to government decision not to call in expansion application

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has confirmed that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to approve the expansion of Stansted to 43 mppa.  Brokenshire said his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely wrong. In the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s 3rd busiest airport.  The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted flights this year will have significant adverse global impacts. SSE will apply to the High Court for a JR of Brokenshire’s decision. SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC. 
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FURTHER LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST STANSTED AIRPORT PLANNING APPROVAL

PRESS RELEASE – Stop Stansted Expansion

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/

26 MARCH 2019

Stop Stansted Expansion (‘SSE’) confirmed today [26 March] that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (‘UDC’) to approve the expansion of Stansted Airport to 43 million passengers per annum (‘mppa’).

The Communities Secretary explained that his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely at odds with the facts.

The truth is that over half of Stansted’s passengers are either London residents or London visitors and its official designation, ‘London Stansted Airport’, is intended to emphasise its position as London’s third airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.  In addition, within the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s third busiest airport.  Meanwhile, Stansted has fewer local employees than 15 years ago despite the airport’s growth.  Nowadays, over 84% of its employees are not Uttlesford residents.

The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted Airport this year will have significant adverse impacts not only at a national level but also internationally [Note 1].

In short, SSE believes that the Communities Secretary is both factually wrong and wrong in law to say that the further expansion of Stansted to become almost as big as today’s Gatwick does not involve issues of more than local importance, and so does not justify his intervention.

Paradoxically, the Chairman of UDC Planning Committee [Note 2] gave Brexit as his reason for using his additional casting vote to ensure that the application was approved (after his Committee was split down the middle) saying that there was a need to consider the wider picture, beyond the impacts on Uttlesford.

SSE’s legal proceedings will take the form of an application to the High Court for a Judicial Review (‘JR’) of the decision of the Communities Secretary not to call in the Stansted Airport planning application.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC [Note 3].  This case was originally scheduled for a two-day High Court hearing in February but has been ‘stayed’ by the Judge to await the decision of the Communities Secretary, referred to above.

SSE is due to provide the Judge with an update on 29 March and has previously notified the High Court that it would seek to widen its challenge to include both Secretaries of State in the event of James Brokenshire taking the same line as Chris Grayling in refusing to consider the airport planning application at national level.  SSE’s barristers will confirm this position to the Judge on 29 March and seek directions regarding the timetable and other arrangements for a rescheduled hearing against the two Secretaries of State.

In the meantime, SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  It is hoped that UDC will agree to this and thereby avoid the risk of becoming embroiled in the legal proceedings.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented:  “As we’ve said in the past, High Court proceedings are not cheap and so we do not take such actions lightly but only after careful thought and professional advice. SSE’s primary objective is to seek to safeguard the community and environment from unfettered and unsustainable airport expansion. Regrettably, legal proceedings are sometimes an unavoidable part of trying to achieve this objective.”

ENDS

NOTES

1.   See http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/Stansted_CO2_Emissions_2019.pdf.

2.   Councillor Alan Mills – Conservative member for Felsted and Stebbing, 14 November 2018.

3.   See SSE press release of 9 August 2018 at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press512.html.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/

·     Brian Ross, SSE Deputy Chairman:  01279 814961; (M) 07850 937143 brian.ross@lineone.net

·     SSE Campaign Office:  01279 870558; info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

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See earlier:

 

Government (James Brokenshire) rejects ‘call in’ of Stansted Airport planning application to increase passengers from 35m to 43 mppa

The Government has decided not to ‘call in’ Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last year.  In February 2018, Stansted Airport owners, Manchester Airports Group, submitted a planning application to UDC that sought permission for the airport to increase the annual passenger number from 35 to 43 million per year. UDC granted this planning permission in November 2018, by a narrow vote of the Planning Committee, only won by the Chairman’s casting vote. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has now written to say the decision by UDC is correct, saying:  “… the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying the secretary of state’s intervention.” That is, of course, wrong as planes using Stansted fly over a wide area. Brian Ross from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said the planning consent still faces a legal challenge from SSE, versus the transport secretary in the High Court, which began last September. The case has been on hold for 4 months, pending the decision, but SSE is now takin legal advice on whether to widen the basis of its legal challenge.

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UTTLESFORD COUNCIL PLANNING CHAIRMAN DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS VOTING FOR!

Following the decision of the Chairman of Uttlesford Planning Committee, Councillor Alan Mills, to use his (additional) casting vote in favour of the airport planning application, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, wrote to him to ask whether he had reviewed the latest important WHO Noise Guidelines, published on 10th October, prior to voting. The disturbing reply from Councillor Mills suggests that he was not aware of the WHO Guidelines and he believed the planning application was for 174,000 flights, rather than 274,000. He did not appear to have understood that the application was for an increase in flights, by about 25,000 per year, despite claiming to have read a third of the documents. Five councillors voted in favour of the Stansted application, but SSE has found that at least some of them had either not read, or had not understood, even the most basic information about the application. SSE said this is entirely unsatisfactory. It confirms that this application should be dealt with at a higher level than a small district council, with limited resources to deal with such a significant application with such widespread implications. SSE’s lawyers are now working on the detailed legal submissions to the Secretary of State on why he must now ‘call in’ the application for national determination.

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Uttlesford DC approves Stansted expansion plan, only by Chairman’s casting vote – but plans may now be “called in”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has expressed dismay and disappointment that the vote on 14th November)by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted’s planning application to grow – to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum (from the 35 million cap now).  If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared, to last year’s levels.  The Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with 5 in favour of the application (including the Planning Committee Chairman) and 5 against.  Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional (casting) vote – so he gets 2 votes.  Both BBC and ITV regional news teams filmed the session, which was attended by many local people.  UDC cannot issue a decision notice until the Sec of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire) has considered whether the application should be called in. This should have been done already, as the planned expansion is very near the threshold necessary – of an increase by 10 million annual passengers.  SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him (again) to call in the application. They are currently also legally challenging the decision.

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Stop Stansted Expansion says Uttlesford DC planners’ recommendation is just an uncritical rehash of MAG’s claims

The recommendation by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) planning officers, published on 22 October, that the current airport planning application should be approved, will not surprise anyone who has followed UDC’s handling of this airport planning application from the beginning.  As far back as July 2017 – before the application was even submitted – UDC were openly discussing concessions that might be extracted from Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the owners of Stansted, in return for approving the application. SSE say the UDC officers’ report is little more than a rehash of MAG’s planning statement with no attempt made to challenge the many unsubstantiated and misleading claims made in the planning application. They say UDC planning officers haven’t even bothered to check the many wholly implausible assumptions made by MAG which allow it to claim that there would be no significant adverse impacts if the application is approved – thought that would mean a 66% increase in passengers and a 44% increase in flights compared to last year.  But UDC say this “would not result in significant adverse impacts.”  It is now for UDC councillors on the planning committee to decide.  This case seems too large and complex for a small team of planning officers in a small local authority, without the necessary resources or expertise.

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