Accenture cuts its CO2 emissions per employee by 36% over 5 years, partly due to flying less

The large global consultancy firm, Accenture, has released figures in its corporate citizenship report showing it has cut its carbon emissions per employee by 36% compared to its emissions in 2007. It says this has largely been achieved by increased use of video conferencing rather than flying, and also green procurement standards. Accenture says its CO2 emissions per person have now fallen from 4.0 metric tons to 2.6 metric tons per year, and over 80% is from flying + use of electricity. They champion “sustainable growth” [oxymoron] by using virtual collaboration technologies and exploring alternative travel arrangements. The company’s total carbon emissions have risen by 26% between 2009 and 2013, as the company grew. The proportion of total CO2 emissions from flying is around 51% and has been that level (51% – 56%) since 2009. The carbon savings by Accenture mirror the savings achieved by companies working with the WWF-UK “One in Five” campaign which encourages a number of large UK firms to cut their flying by 20% over 5 years. Many far surpassed this target.
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Accenture press release at Accenture Releases 2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report 

Report at  2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report, “Our Communities, Our Commitments

This report says, on air travel:

“To make our work less travel intensive, we have made significant investments in virtual collaboration technology, focused on staffing locally where possible and developed and leveraged our Global Delivery Network. These actions have helped our employees work effectively with a reduced need for travel, and they generated reductions in per employee carbon emissions from air travel during fiscal 2013 by more than 5%, compared to fiscal 2012.

“We recognize that the need to travel by air for client work is often difficult to forecast, which may lead to year-over-year fluctuations in our total carbon emissions performance. Therefore, we will continue to pursue our current target of achieving a 35% reduction in per employee emissions by the end of fiscal 2015. We remain focused on growing our business in an environmentally responsible way, by coordinating efforts closely with our global network of employees, clients and suppliers.”

Chart showing the total carbon emissions for Accenture worldwide at  http://www.accenture.com/us-en/company/citizenship/environmental/Pages/environmental-performance.aspx

accenture carbon

This shows that between 2009 and 2013, the total number of employees rose from 177,000 to 275,000 (55% increase) and the the total carbon emissions rose from 541,552  to 683,751 tonnes (26% increase).

In 2013 the proportion of total carbon emissions from flying was 51%.  It was 51% in 2009; 54% in 2010; 56% in 2011; and 53% in 2012.


 

Accenture slashes emissions by more than a third

Consultancy giant publishes latest announce corporate citizenship report confirming emissions per employee have fallen 36 per cent since 2007

By BusinessGreen staff

1 Apr 2014

Global consultancy giant Accenture has revealed that it has slashed its carbon emissions per employee by 36% against its 2007 baseline, primarily through increased use of video conferencing and green procurement standards.

The company yesterday published its annual Corporate Citizenship Report, confirming that emissions per person have now fallen from 4.0 metric tons to 2.6 metric tons of CO2.

“More than 80% of our environmental footprint consists of carbon emissions our people generate from air travel to see clients and from the use of electricity,” the report stated. “We have been steadfast in addressing both… Our people continually champion sustainable growth by using virtual collaboration technologies, exploring alternative travel arrangements and encouraging our suppliers’ sustainability efforts.”

Most notably, the company said that it in an average year Accenture’s employees log 43 million minutes of video conferencing.

The company also revealed that it is increasing pressure on its supplier base to meet environmental best practices, with 99% of the Requests for Proposals issued by Accenture Procurement department including environmental questionnaires in fiscal 2013.

“This report marks the next chapter in our long-standing commitment to fueling sustainable economic growth,” said Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer. “Our focus on corporate citizenship remains a cornerstone of our character and our business purpose, and our success is, more than ever, a product of the passion and dedication of our people around the world.”

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2337311/accenture-slashes-emissions-by-more-than-a-third

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WWF-UK has had a programme to help companies cut their carbon emissions from flying for several years.  (It is now managed by Global Action Plan).

Join the One in Five Challenge

Helping companies fly less – good for business, good for the planet

Launched in 2009 the One in Five Challenge helps companies and government cut their costs as well as their carbon emissions from business travel. From 2014 the challenge is being run by Global Action Plan.

Participants commit to cut 20% of their business flights within five years.

The Challenge is a guided programme and award scheme which suggests practical ways to cut flying and use lower-carbon ways of staying connected.

The latest three-year results are impressive: members have, on average, cut their flights by 38%, saving £2 million and 3,000 tonnes of Co2.

The 3rd Annual Report for the One in Five Challenge is now available showing the latest results for the Challenge. The One in Five Challenge Toolkit, showing how successful organisations have achieved the Challenge, is also available.

One in Five Challenge Members

The following companies & organisations have been members of WWF’s One in Five Challenge:

Balfour Beatty, BSkyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft UK, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Government, Skanska, Vodafone UK and WWF-UK.

Award winners

The following members have achieved the One in Five Challenge Award:

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WWF’s “One in Five” challenge has cut corporate flights by their participating firms by 38% over 3 years

24.1.2014New results from WWF’s “One in Five Challenge”, a programme to help organisations cut 20% of flights within 5 years in favour of lower-carbon ways of staying connected, show that some of the UK’s leading companies have cut flights by 38% and flight expenditure by 42% over a 3-year period, saving them over £2 million and over 3,000 tonnes of carbon.  Organisations that have achieved the One in Five Challenge, include BskyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft UK, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Vodafone. The Challenge has helped companies to make significant inroads into cutting their costs and carbon from business travel and to change their business travel behaviour in favour of alternatives such as rail and video-conferencing. These results, together with other WWF-UK analysis which shows a significant, long-term decline in business flying in the UK, point to a permanent change in meeting and travel practices, questioning the business case for UK airport expansion. Having developed the One in Five Challenge and run it successfully for over 4 years, WWF is handing “One in Five” to Global Action Plan (GAP), the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity helping business to reduce environmental impact.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19545
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WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are NOT increasing their flying – they’ve cut it by 38% over 3 years

6.2.2014A highly misleading article appeared in the Times on 3 February 2014 suggesting that WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are increasing their flying and that they are leaving the Challenge because they need to fly more. The “1 in 5″ challenge is a scheme to encourage businesses to cut their business flying by 20% over 5 years. The Times journalist based his misleading conclusions on data cherry-picked from the 3rd Annual Report from the “One in Five Challenge”.  WWF has set out the actual facts to counter the Times’ errors. Flights have not increased during the Challenge; they have continued to decline. Over a three-year period, the number of flights taken by Challengers fell by 38%, far exceeding the target set by the Challenge.  Even between Years 3 and 4, when the journalist claims Challengers have flown more, they have actually flown less taking 2% fewer flights. Challengers are not leaving the Challenge to fly more as the article alleges. The reason it may appear companies have dropped out of the scheme is because there is more data from Years 1 & 2 than Years 3 & 4 is that several Challengers who have recently joined the programme have not submitted as many years of data as Challengers who joined when the programme was launched in 2009.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19820


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WWF scheme helps leading UK companies cut flights by 41% in 2 years

14.6.2012

New figures from WWF UK show that some of the UK’s leading companies, including Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, and Marks & Spencer have reduced their business flights by 41%, as part of WWF’s One in Five Challenge scheme. The scheme aims to help companies and government departments to cut 20% of flights within 5 years, reduce their reliance on business flying and transform the way they meet and travel. Member companies have used a variety of measures such as questioning the need for travel, including flights in corporate carbon reporting and increasing their use of rail travel as well as video and audio conferencing. Members say less time is being spent out of the office, and there have been benefits of productivity gains and increased collaboration.  

 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2334

 

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Read more »

IPCC report sets out impacts, risks and threats of rising CO2 to security, food and human well being

The IPCC has released the report from its 2nd working group as part of its 5th Assessment Report (AR5). This comprehensive report is entitled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.” It sets out  more clearly, and warns more starkly, than it has done in previous reports, the extent of the widespread and serious negative effects of climate change.  They say every part of the world will be affected, and urgent action is now needed both to reduce carbon emissions, and to adapt to the inevitable changes that will happen. The report deals with food security, water supplies and human health, among other topics, and it says rising atmospheric CO2 will mean global warming could undermine economic growth and increase poverty, and the chance of conflics. The warnings on future ability to grow food, for an every growing human population, is chilling. Negative impacts can only worsen if global average temperature is allowed to rise by 2 degrees C and the IPCC warns that by impacts may become potentially catastrophic to human societies if temperatures rise higher than 4C, which is what we should expect if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted without drastic emissions cuts. [How does a rapidly growing, very high carbon, aviation industry fit into this future?] 
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IPCC report: War, famine and pestilence – ‘Climate change is happening and no one in the world is immune’

From food shortages to loss of species, the latest IPCC report paints a bleak picture for the planet

by STEVE CONNOR (Independent)

Monday 31 March 2014

The negative effects of climate change are already beginning to be felt in every part of the world and yet countries are ill-prepared for the potentially immense impacts on food security, water supplies and human health, a major report has concluded.

In the most comprehensive study yet into the effects of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that global warming could undermine economic growth and increase poverty.

Scientists identified Britain as one of the countries most at risk from some of the more immediate negative effects of climate change, with the UK and northern Europe warned to expect increased coastal and inland flooding, heatwaves and droughts.

The IPCC found that these unwanted impacts have already extended beyond any potential benefits of rising temperatures and that they will worsen if global-average temperatures continue to rise by the expected lower limit of 2C by 2100 – and will become potentially catastrophic if temperatures rise higher than 4C.

In a blunt and often pessimistic assessment of climate-change impacts – the fifth assessment since 1990 – the IPCC scientists give a stark warning about what the world should expect if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted without mitigation [ie cutting carbon emissions] or adaptation.

“In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans,” says the report Climate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, formally released early this morning by the IPCC after a final editorial meeting in Yokohama, Japan.

“Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger,” the report states.

Scientists in Britain said it is the clearest warning yet of what could happen if the world continues to prevaricate over cuts in emissions.  “Climate change is happening, there are big risks for everyone and no place in the world is immune from them,” said Professor Neil Adger of Exeter University, one of the many lead authors of the report.

The evidence for climate change can be found in natural systems, such as polar ice and coral reefsNearly 2,000 experts from around the world contributed to the report, written by 436 authors and edited by 309 lead authors and review editors of the IPCC’s working group II. It was by far the most detailed investigation to date of the global impacts of climate change – extending from oceans to mountains and from the poles to the equator.

Christopher Field, of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology in California and co-chair of working group II, said that the observed impacts of climate change are already widespread and that “we’re not talking about hypothetical events”.

The much-touted benefits of climate change – such as the ability to grow some crops such as vineyards at higher northerly latitudes – dwindle into insignificance compared to the enormous challenges produced by the much bigger downsides of a warmer and more stressed world, the report suggests.

“It is true that we can’t find many benefits of climate change and I believe it’s because there aren’t many benefits, even though we tried really hard to find them,” Dr Field said. “There are a few places where there are a few benefits of warming but there are many other places where there are widespread negative impacts,” he said.

The evidence for climate-change impacts is the strongest and most comprehensive for natural systems, such as melting mountain glaciers and polar ice, and the earlier and earlier signs of spring. However, impacts on human systems, such as a rise in certain tropical diseases, can also be attributed to climate change.

“We live in an era of man-made climate change. In many cases, we are not prepared for the climate-related risks that we already face,” said Vicente Barros, co-chair of the IPCC working group II.

The climate-related impacts studied by the IPCC included:

Food security

Crop yields have increased in general over recent decades but the rate of improvement would have been even faster had it not been for climate change. The signature of rising temperatures and heat stress are already showing on yield of wheat and maize, the report says.

“All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilisation and price stability,” it says.

Freshwater supplies

As global temperature rise, then so does the fraction of the human population that are affected by either water scarcity or river flooding. “Climate change over the 21st century is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions,” the IPCC says.

Loss of species

The risk of plant and animal extinctions increases under all climate change scenarios, but they get worse with higher temperatures. Loss of trees and forest dieback will be a particular problem in a warmer world, the report says.

“A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species face increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution and invasive species,” it says.

Ocean acidification

Coral reefs and shelled marine creatures, especially the smaller animals at the base of the marine food chain, are at special risk of rising carbon dioxide concentrations, which are causing the oceans to become more acidic and less alkaline. This in turn will affect human populations that rely on sea fish as a food source.

Global economy

Economic losses due to climate change are difficult to assess and many past estimates have not taken into account the catastrophic changes that could result from the climate passing a “tipping point”. Losses, however, are more likely than not to be greater, rather than smaller, than an estimated range of between 0.2 and 2 per cent of global income loss due to a temperature rise of about 2C.

Human security

Climate change can indirectly increase the risk of violent conflicts, such as civil wars, by amplifying the well-documented “drivers” such as poverty and economic shocks. Climate change will also increase the risk of unplanned displacement of people and a change in migration patterns, the report says.

Scientists said that the messages about the threat posed by climate change in the 21st century have never been clearer but there is still time to mitigate the worst effects by cutting greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable energy sources as well as to adapt to the expected changes with technological improvements.

Professor Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said that the study is not “just another report” but the scientific consensus reached by hundreds of scientists.

“The human influence on climate change is clear. The atmosphere and oceans are warming, the snow cover is shrinking, the Arctic sea ice is melting, sea levels are rising, the oceans are acidifying, some extreme weather events are on the rise, ecosystems and natural habitats will be upset.

Climate change threatens food security and world economies,” Professor Le Quere said.

Meat and cheese may have to be off the menu if there is to be any hope of hitting climate change targets.

A separate study says cutting greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and transport will not be enough on its own to hold down the global temperature rise.

The research indicates it will also be necessary to slash emissions from agriculture – meaning curbing meat and dairy consumption. Without such action, nitrous oxide emissions from fields and methane from livestock may double by 2070, making it impossible to meet the UN target.

The lead scientist, Dr Fredrik Hedenus of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, said: “We have shown that reducing meat and dairy consumption is key to bringing agricultural climate pollution down to safe levels.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/ipcc-report-war-famine-and-pestilence–climate-change-is-happening-andno-one-in-the-world-is-immune-9224777.html

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The IPCC press release “IPCC Report: A changing climate creates pervasive risks but opportunities exist for effective responses – Responses will face challenges with high warming of the climate”
is at   https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ar5/pr_wg2/140330_pr_wgII_spm_en.pdf
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Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

IPCC Working Group II Contribution to AR5 (Assessment Report 5)

http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/

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Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.   Press kit     http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/press-events/press-kit/

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WGII AR5 Final Drafts (accepted)

The Final Draft Report, dated 28 October 2013, of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2014:Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability was accepted but not approved in detail by the 10th Session of Working Group II and the 38th Session of the IPCC on 29 March 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. It consists of the full scientific and technical assessment undertaken by Working Group II.

http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/

this contains links to all the separate chapters of the report.

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Transformational change

The IPCC states, in its  ponderous, committee-drafted language, that:

……”If effects of climate change are relatively severe, this process is likely to require considerations of transformational changes in threatened systems if development is to be
sustained without major disruptions.

…. Transformational change is a fundamental change in a system, its nature, and/or its location that can occur in human institutions, technological and biological systems and elsewhere. It most often happens in responding to significantly disruptive events or concerns about them. For climate-resilient pathways for development, transformations in social processes may be required in order to get voluntary social agreement to undertake transformational adaptations that avoid serious disruptions of sustainable development.”

Chapter 20. Climate-Resilient Pathways: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Sustainable Development       . http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WGIIAR5-Chap20_FGDall.pdf

 


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Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind – IPCC report

Warming is leading to more volatile weather patterns that are already reducing crop yields, the IPCC has warned

  • 31 March 2014

A United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level on Monday, warning of sweeping consequences to life and livelihood.

The report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time – melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters.

And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said.

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC.

Monday’s report was the most sobering so far from the UN climate panel and, scientists said, the most definitive. The report – a three year joint effort by more than 300 scientists – grew to 2,600 pages and 32 volumes.

The volume of scientific literature on the effects of climate change has doubled since the last report, and the findings make an increasingly detailed picture of how climate change – in tandem with existing fault lines such as poverty and inequality – poses a much more direct threat to life and livelihood.

This was reflected in the language. The summary mentioned the word “risk” more than 230 times, compared to just over 40 mentions seven years ago, according to a count by the Red Cross.

At the forefront of those risks was the potential for humanitarian crisis. The report catalogued some of the disasters that have been visited around the planet since 2000: killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in Australia, and deadly floods in Pakistan.

“We are now in an era where climate change isn’t some kind of future hypothetical,” said Chris Field, one of the two main authors of the report.

Those extreme weather events would take a disproportionate toll on poor, weak and elderly people. The scientists said governments did not have systems in place to protect those populations. “This would really be a severe challenge for some of the poorest communities and poorest countries in the world,” said Maggie Opondo, a geographer from the University of Nairobi and one of the authors.

The warning signs about climate change and extreme weather events have been accumulating over time. But this report struck out on relatively new ground by drawing a clear line connecting climate change to food scarcity, and conflict.

The report said climate change had already cut into the global food supply. Global crop yields were beginning to decline – especially for wheat – raising doubts as to whether production could keep up with population growth.

“It has now become evident in some parts of the world that the green revolution has reached a plateau,” Pachauri said.  [He said “We’re facing the spectre of reduced yields in some of the key crops that feed humanity,” panel chairman Rajendra Pachauri ]

The future looks even more grim. Under some scenarios, climate change could lead to dramatic drops in global wheat production as well as reductions in maize.

“Climate change is acting as a brake. We need yields to grow to meet growing demand, but already climate change is slowing those yields,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and an author of the report.

Other food sources are also under threat. Fish catches in some areas of the tropics are projected to fall by between 40% and 60%, according to the report.

The report also connected climate change to rising food prices and political instability, for instance the riots in Asia and Africa after food price shocks in 2008.

“The impacts are already evident in many places in the world. It is not something that is [only] going to happen in the future,” said David Lobell, a professor at Stanford University’s centre for food security, who devised the models.

“Almost everywhere you see the warming effects have a negative effect on wheat and there is a similar story for corn as well. These are not yet enormous effects but they show clearly that the trends are big enough to be important,” Lobell said.

The report acknowledged that there were a few isolated areas where a longer growing season had been good for farming. But it played down the idea that there may be advantages to climate change as far as food production is concerned.

Overall, the report said, “Negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts.” Scientists and campaigners pointed to the finding as a defining feature of the report.

The report also warned for the first time that climate change, combined with poverty and economic shocks, could lead to war and drive people to leave their homes.

With the catalogue of risks, the scientists said they hoped to persuade governments and the public that it was past time to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to plan for sea walls and other infrastructure that offer some protection for climate change.

“The one message that comes out of this is the world has to adapt and the world has to mitigate,” said Pachauri.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-threat-food-security-humankind

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Climate change ‘already affecting food supply’ – UN

Report by climate change panel says global warming is fuelling not only natural disasters, but potentially famine – and war

IPCC report, Chapter 7  Food Security and the Food Production System

Climate change has already cut into the global food supply and is fuelling wars and natural disasters, but governments are unprepared to protect those most at risk, according to a report from the UN’s climate science panel.

The report is the first update in seven years from the UN’s international panel of experts, which is charged with producing the definitive account of climate change.

In that time, climate change has ceased to be a distant threat and made an impact much closer to home, the report’s authors say. “It’s about people now,” said Virginia Burkett, the chief scientist for global change at the US geological survey and one of the report’s authors. “It’s more relevant to the man on the street. It’s more relevant to communities because the impacts are directly affecting people – not just butterflies and sea ice.”

The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found evidence of climate change far beyond thawing Arctic permafrost and crumbling coral reefs – “on all continents and across the  oceans“.

But it was the finding that climate change could threaten global food security that caught the attention of government officials from 115 countries who reviewed the report. “All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change,” the report said.

The scientists said there was enough evidence to say for certain that climate change is affecting food production on land and sea.

The rate of increase in crop yields is slowing – especially in wheat – raising doubts as to whether food production will keep up with the demand of a growing population. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns could lead to food price rises of between 3% and 84% by 2050.

“Climate change is acting as a brake. We need yields to grow to meet growing demand, but already climate change is slowing those yields,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and an author of the report.

Other food sources are also under threat. Fish catches in some areas of the tropics are projected to fall by between 40% and 60%, according to the report.

The report also connected climate change to rising food prices and political instability, for instance the riots in Asia and Africa after food price shocks in 2008.

“The impacts are already evident in many places in the world. It is not something that is [only] going to happen in the future,” said David Lobell, a professor at Stanford University’s centre for food security, who devised the models.

“Almost everywhere you see the warming effects have a negative affect on wheat and there is a similar story for corn as well. These are not yet enormous effects but they show clearly that the trends are big enough to be important,” Lobell said.

Wheat is the first big staple crop to be affected by climate change, because it is sensitive to heat and is grown around the world, from Pakistan to Russia to Canada. Projections suggest that wheat yields could drop 2% a decade.

The report explored a range of scenarios involving a temperature rise of two degrees or more that saw dramatic declines in production in the coming decades. Declines in crop yields will register first in drier and warmer parts of the world but as temperatures rise two, three or four degrees, they will affect everyone.

In the more extreme scenarios, heat and water stress could reduce yields by 25% between 2030 and 2049.

The report acknowledged that there were a few isolated areas where a longer growing season had been good for farming. But it played down the idea that there may be advantages to climate change as far as food production is concerned.

Overall, the report said, “Negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts.” Scientists and campaigners pointed to the finding as a defining feature of the report.

The scientists also detected climate having an effect on heatwaves, droughts and flooding across the globe, and warned that those events would take a disproportionate toll on poor, weak and elderly people. The scientists said governments did not have systems in place to protect those populations. Warming of more than two degrees would increase the risks of “severe, pervasive and irreversible” consequences, the report said.

The report also warned for the first time that climate change, combined with poverty and economic shocks, could lead to war and drive people to leave their homes. “Climate change can indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts,” the report said. It also warned that hundreds of millions of people in south Asia and south-east Asia will be affected by coastal flooding and land loss by 2100.

“The main way that most people will experience climate change is through the impact on food: the food they eat, the price they pay for it, and the availability and choice that they have,” said Tim Gore, head of food policy and climate change for Oxfam.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director, Andy Atkins, said: “We can’t continue to ignore the stark warnings of the catastrophic consequences of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of people across the planet.

“Giant strides are urgently needed to tackle the challenges we face, but all we get is tiny steps, excuses and delays from most of the politicians that are supposed to represent our interests.

“Governments across the world must stand up to the oil, gas and coal industries, and take their foot of the fossil fuel accelerator that’s speeding us towards a climate disaster.”

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-food-supply-un

 

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This IPCC report on food also says, of increasing growing of biofuels:

Water for biofuels, for example, under the IEA Alternative Policy Scenario, which has biofuels production increasing to 71 EJ in 2030, has been reported by Gerbens-Leenes et al. (2012) to drive global consumptive irrigation water use from 0.5% of global
renewable water resources in 2005 to 5.5% in 2030, resulting in increased pressure on freshwater resources, with potential negative impacts on freshwater ecosystems.  (Page 44)

and

“Water abstraction for energy, food or biofuel production or carbon sequestration can also
compete with minimal environmental flows needed to maintain riverine habitats and wetlands, implying a potential conflict between economic and other valuations and uses of water.” (Page 44)

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Climate change: the poor will suffer most

UN report says that unless governments act now to reduce emissions, no one will be safe from effects of climate change
Villagers and rescue workers begin the clean-up operation in Tacloban, Philippines, after the typhoon and storm surge in November 2013. Photograph: Rolex dela Pena/EPA

Pensioners left on their own during a heatwave in industrialised countries. Single mothers in rural areas. Workers who spend most of their days outdoors. Slum dwellers in the megacities of the developing world.

These are some of the vulnerable groups who will feel the brunt ofclimate change as its effects become more pronounced in the coming decades, according to a game-changing report from the UN’s climate panel released on Monday. Climate change is occurring on all continents and in the oceans, the authors say, driving heatwaves and other weather-related disasters.

And the changes to the Earth’s climate are fuelling violent conflicts. The UN for the first time in this report has designated climate change a threat to human security.

The overriding lesson of this report, the scientists said, was that unless governments acted now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt measures to protect their people, nobody would be immune to climate change.

“There isn’t a single region that thinks we can avoid all the impacts of even 2 degrees of warming by adaptation – let alone 4 degrees,” said Dr Rachel Warren of the Tyndall centre for climate change research at the University of East Anglia.

“I think you can say that in order to keep global temperature rises at 2 degrees we need to reduce emissions greatly and rapidly, but even at 2 degrees there are still impacts that we can’t adapt to.”

“We live in an era of manmade climate change,” said Dr Vicente Barros, who chaired the report. “In many cases, we are not prepared for the climate-related risks that we already face. Investments in better preparation can pay dividends both for the present and for the future.”

But those who did the least to cause climate change would be the first in the line of fire: the poor and the weak, and communities that were subjected to discrimination, the report found.

Scientists went to great lengths in the report to single out people and communities who would be most at risk of climate change, with detailed descriptions of locations and demographics.

“People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise marginalised are especially vulnerable to climate change,” it said.

One impact is through the reduction in crop yields, which leads to higher prices. “The story is that crop yields have detectably changed. As time goes on the poor countries that are in the warmer and drier parts of the planet will feel the crop yield decreases early,” said Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. “When you get above two degrees and into the three- and four-degree range, adaptation becomes less effective and even some of the wealthy countries that have advanced agriculture start suffering.”

“People who were already disadvantaged, more of them are going to be suffering from malnutrition,” he added.

In a further cruel twist, the report said climate change would also make it harder for developing countries to climb out of poverty, and would create “poverty pockets” in rich and poor countries.

It already has. Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross climate centre and an author of the report, said the agency was already seeing evidence that the poor were being hit hardest in weather-related disasters.

“It’s the poor suffering more during disasters, and of course the same hazard causes a much bigger disaster in poorer countries, making it even poorer,” he said.

There are already more weather-related mega-disasters such as heatwaves and storm surges occurring under climate change.

And the number of natural disasters between 2000 and 2009 was around three times higher than in the 1980s, Van Aalst said. “The growth is almost entirely due to ‘climate-related’ events,” he said.

Climate changeGraphic: guardian.co.ukOther threats are looming because of climate change. The Pentagon and the CIA have released a number of threat assessments in recent years identifying climate change as a threat to military installations, and as a potential driver of conflict – a “threat multiplier“.

The UN agrees in this report, saying climate change could lead to war and increased migration.

“Climate change can indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts in the form of civil war and inter-group violence,” the report said.

The authors, however, were cautious about sending the message that climate change causes war per se.

“Climate change, on its own, does not start wars,” said Neil Adger, a professor of geography at Exeter University, and one of the authors of the report. “But it does have a hand in producing situations that lead to conflict.

“The things that drive conflict are sensitive to climate, particularly poverty and economic shocks,” Adger said. “If there is a decrease in food supply or lots of people are pushed into poverty … it creates the environment where you are susceptible to conflict,” he said.

The conflicts are also on a different scale: food riots and unrest triggered by spiralling prices; clashes between farmers and herders of livestock over land and water; competing demands on water for irrigation or for cities.

“It will be within communities or between farmers and it might not necessarily be violent,” Adger said. “It’s more likely to be more local and more site-specific.”

And it could set back efforts to deal with climate change. “Conflict itself actually reduces the ability of places to react to climate change,” Adger added. “The impact of conflict in destabilising regions, wiping out infrastructure, not allowing the state to fulfil its social contract to protect its own people … conflict itself is making people more vulnerable to climate change.”

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-poor-suffer-most-un-report

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Cardiff to Anglesey air link continues to get large government subsidy as bus grants are slashed

The Welsh Government has defended a big increase in subsidy for the North-South Wales air service while it cuts funding for lifeline bus services. From 2010-11 to 2012-13, subsidy for the flights between Anglesey and Cardiff increased by 37.2%. Subsidy was £184 for each passenger who used the service in 2012-13. Over the same 2-year period, the Welsh government reduced its grant to councils for unprofitable bus services by 29.2%. At least 94 bus routes have been withdrawn since 2011. Other services are under review because subsidy per passenger exceeds £2 or £3. The Welsh Government has been reviewing bus funding since early 2012 – but has not evaluated the air service’s costs and benefits since the global financial problems and major reductions in public-sector budgets. The route from Cardiff to Anglesey has 2 flights each way, each weekday, and there were almost 15,000 passenger journeys in 2008-09, but only 8,406 passenger journeys in 2012-13. Subsidy for the air operator and the civilian air terminal at RAF Valley on Anglesey increased from £1.08m in 2008-09 to £1.55m in 2012-13.
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North to South Wales air link enjoys subsidies as bus grants are slashed

Questions asked over Welsh Government transport priorities as figures show that the air link between Anglesey and Cardiff continues to enjoy public funding

Citywing operates flights to Anglesey

The Welsh Government has defended a big increase in subsidy for the North-South Wales air service while it cuts funding for lifeline bus services.

From 2010-11 to 2012-13, subsidy for the flights between Anglesey and the Vale of Glamorgan increased by 37.2%. Subsidy was £184 for each passenger who used the service in 2012-13.

Over the same two-year period, the Labour government in Cardiff Bay reduced its grant to councils for unprofitable bus services by 29.2%.

A recent BBC investigation revealed that Welsh councils have withdrawn at least 94 bus routes since 2011.

Other services are under review because subsidy per passenger exceeds £2 or £3.

The Welsh Government has been reviewing bus funding since early 2012 – but has not evaluated the air service’s costs and benefits since the global financial crash and major reductions in public-sector budgets.

The air service’s figures can be studied because a National Assembly committee asked the Wales Audit Office to investigate. Similar analysis of the subsidised first-class rail facility between Holyhead and Cardiff is impossible, because the government has declined to disclose how many passengers used it last year.

The air service, linking Cardiff airport to RAF Valley (on Angelsey) twice each way per working weekday, was launched in 2007. It carried almost 15,000 passenger journeys in 2008-09, and an appraisal in 2008 concluded that the service had a positive impact on many sectors of the Welsh economy.

The service carried only 8,406 passenger journeys in 2012-13. Subsidy for the air operator and the civilian air terminal at RAF Valley increased from £1.08m in 2008-09 to £1.55m in 2012-13.

Despite these significant changes, no cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken since 2008.

Conservative AM Mark Isherwood, who represents North Wales, said: “It seems that once again the Welsh Government has been caught with its corporate-governance pants down. They invested public money without putting controls in place.”

North Wales Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts contrasted the detailed evaluation of bus services by councils with the Welsh Government’s policy of increasing air subsidy without assessing value for money.

“If the [air] service has always been heavily reliant on people from the public sector to make use of it, clearly the financial constraints on the public sector suggest that there isn’t going to be as much usage going forward,” he said.

The Welsh Government says passenger numbers have been increasing, with 8,536 passenger journeys carried in the 2013 calendar year.

Asked why it had reduced subsidy for buses while increasing air subsidy, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are committed to delivering a range of public transport to support the social and economic needs of Wales.

“A full appraisal of the North-South air service is already underway. We are looking for innovative solutions to deliver an efficient, sustainable bus service across Wales and have established a new Bus Advisory Group to review policies and look at new approaches to funding. Local authorities are responsible for determining how they spend the funding we provide and identify which services should be supported and at what level.”

Mr Isherwood said bus services were being cut despite all parties in the Assembly agreeing that they provided an important service, especially in rural and deprived areas. Arriva had told him recently it would take on some threatened bus routes.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/north-south-wales-air-link-6895633

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Taxpayer has paid some £86 in subsidy for every one of the 65,073 passengers who used Cardiff-Anglesey service between May 2007 April 2013.   Passenger numbers on a publicly-subsidised air route between Cardiff and Anglesey have fallen 35% since it was first introduced in 2007.  Load factor now on Cardiff-Anglesey planes now at about 46%-47%.

‘Ieuan Air’ Cardiff-Anglesey link passenger numbers plunged by 35% since it was introduced, Assembly committee hears

Welsh Government say passenger numbers fell due to economic downturn and decline of Cardiff Airport

Passenger numbers on a publicly-subsidised air route between Cardiff and Anglesey have plunged by 35% since it was first introduced, it has been revealed.

The north-south service – dubbed “Ieuan Air” after then-Deputy First Minister and Ynys Mon AM Ieuan Wyn Jones – has cost the taxpayer around £86 in subsidy for every one of the 65,073 passengers which used the service between May 2007 and April 2013, the Wales Audit Office (WAO) said in written evidence to the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday.

The WAO also said the government should “revisit” the business case for the service and undertake a “full options appraisal and cost-benefit analysis”, which includes alternative investments to the service.

Questioning Welsh Government officials, chair of the committee Darren Millar said passenger numbers using the service had “plummeted”, with planes now running at an average “load” of less than half, at around 46%-47%.

Director General of the Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science department James Price said passenger numbers were down 35% on “the highs of when it was first introduced”.

But he insisted the Welsh Government did believe the service delivered value-for-money.

He said: “Passenger numbers are down by about 35% on the highs when they were introduced.

“There was a time.. .when load factors [how full planes are] were up around 85%-86%. hey were above 80% and they are now between 40%-50%. That’s a significant fall, I would absolutely agree.”

Mr Price said the general economic downturn had contributed to around 10% of fall in passengers, while the decline in Cardiff Airport had also contributed to the decline.

He also said the operator, Citywing, had reported it was “positive” a passenger numbers were “picking up significantly” recently.

He said he “couldn’t second-guess” whether ministers would renew the service when the contract expires, but he said the department would consider options to expand the service to include flights to Hawarden, Flintshire, during a “seven-hour downtime” after planes arrive in Cardiff.

Auditor General for Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas also said in a briefing to AMs: “During the first two years of the Highland Airways contract – May 2007 to April 2009 – nearly 29,000 passengers used the service with an average reported load factor of 82%. This load factor performance compared favourably with an industry average load factor over the same period of around 76%.

“However, passenger numbers have been markedly lower in recent years and fell by 12.5% between 2011-12 and 2012-13.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/ieuan-air-cardiff-anglesey-link-passenger-6876767

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BBC Video clip:

North-south air link subsidy rises to £1.2m

3 December 2010

The north-south air link between Anglesey and Cardiff is to continue for the next four years. But with the assembly government subsidy for the service rising by 50%, opposition parties have condemned the decision. Tomos Dafydd reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11904955

Opposition parties have condemned the decision to raise the subsidy by 50%

The air service linking north and south Wales will continue for another four years as its annual assembly government subsidy rises from £800,000 to £1.2m.

The current operator Manx2.com has secured the Cardiff-Anglesey contract along with its partner FLM Aviation.

But Liberal Democrats say it is an “environmental and financial outrage”.

Anglesey AM and Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the decision reflected the assembly government’s determination to maintain the link.

“This air link joining north and south Wales has proved itself to be an efficient, reliable and popular service,” said Mr Jones.

“This service is well used, it is well utilised, and it’s a wide range of people – there are business people, people visiting friends and families, people going for tourism opportunities, as well as of course as people from the public sector.

“I think it is justified, simply because we need to maintain good communications between north and south of our country.”

Clive McGregor, leader of Anglesey council, welcomed the subsidy, saying it was “good news and brings us certainty for another four years”.

He added that Manx2’s record has been “excellent so far”.

“The hope is that together we can develop the service from Maes Awyr Môn and that destinations such as Dublin and the Isle of Man will be offered in the future,” Mr McGregor said.

Isle of Man-based Manx2.com took over running of the route in May after the airline Highland Airways went into administration in March.

It was awarded the new contract after the assembly government out the service out to tender in July.

Manx2.com chairman Noel Hayes said: “As a Celtic neighbour, Manx2.com is delighted to have been chosen to continue the connection between Cardiff and Anglesey.

“With our home base just 50 miles away across the Irish Sea, we’re excited about continuing our award-winning Manx service into the future.”

The decision was criticised by Welsh Liberal Democrats, who have long opposed the service, which has been dubbed “Ieuan Air” by some after the Anglesey AM and Plaid Cymru leader.

The party’s transport spokesperson, Jenny Randerson said: “At a time when families and business are cutting back, it beggars belief that the Labour-Plaid government can waste another £4.8m of taxpayers’ money subsidising the Ieuan Air airlink.

“It is an environmental and financial outrage.”

The party said it was “simply scandalous” that the new deal also tied in any future assembly government to the service for the next four years.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will now look to see what can be done to ensure a future government is free to scrap this wasteful and polluting subsidy,” added Ms Randerson.

However, the assembly government has defended the increase in subsidy for the service, which jumps by 50% to £1.2m a year.

A spokesperson said it reflected changes since the first north-south airlink agreement in 2007.

“Since then the costs of operating the service has increased, for example increases in fuel, salary costs, landing charges, etc, the current budget limit reflects these increased costs,” added the spokesperson.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11904955

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Nearly 100 subsidised bus routes cut in Wales in 2011-14

20.2.2014 (BBC)

Age Cymru says older people could become increasingly isolated

Nearly 100 subsidised bus routes have been scrapped by councils in Wales in the past three years, with further cuts expected as authorities make savings.

The figures obtained by BBC Wales reveal that nearly one in seven routes across 19 council areas have been axed.

The charity Age Cymru warned of the impact this could have on older people saying they could become increasingly isolated and cut off from services.

The Welsh government said it was reviewing ways of funding services.

But a spokesperson also added that decisions on support for local service remained with councils.

Responses to a Freedom of Information request show 93 services have been cut from 656 subsidised routes between 2011 and 2014.

Some councils warned they were continuing to review bus services following cuts to transport budgets after a 25% reduction in Welsh government funding

…… and it continues

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-26262972

 

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Welsh Economy Minister says Cardiff Airport likely to return to profit only in ‘long-term’

March 21, 2014

The Welsh Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, has said that Cardiff Airport – now in public ownership – is likely to return to profit eventually, but not in the short term. She said its downward spiral is no longer continuing. The airport finally becoming profitable is a “long-term” strategy. She was giving evidence to the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee on the airport, which was bought by the Welsh Government for £52m at the end of 2012. Ms Hart suggested there wouldn’t be a quick sale of the airport back into the private sector, which the Scottish Government is seeking for the newly-nationalised Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. Pressed by the Plaid Cymru economy spokesman on when the government expected the taxpayer to recoup its investment. She said the Budget announcement for support for regional airports to set up new routes would apply to Wales and that they would “wait for the detail of it”, but confirmed the Welsh Government is likely to bid in for funding. Chancellor George Osborne announced a £20m annual fund will be used to encourage new routes from regional hubs like Cardiff.

Click here to view full story…

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Stansted Managing Director tells London that Stansted is “solution” to aviation capacity demand

Stansted boss, Andrew Harrison, says the airport can meet London’s growing aviation needs over the next 15 years.  He was speaking at the inaugural London Infrastructure Summit on March 27th. He said Stansted could more than double the amount of flights it handles and that improving rail links into London would be key to unlocking its full potential.  The  Summit  focused on the importance of infrastructure to London’s overall competitiveness. Andrew Harrison said Stansted has the infrastructure and planning permission to handle 35 million passengers (up from 17.8 million in 2013) per year, and the ability to handle a further 10 million passengers beyond that. That is around the capacity of one runway, fully used, especially with larger planes than at present. Stansted intends to “grasp the opportunity” in the period before any new runway (if one is ever agreed) could be built, to “make the best possible use of Stansted.” Some rail improvements, which could be implemented quickly, might cut the train journey time to London by 10 minutes.

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Airport boss tells London that Stansted is solution to aviation capacity crisis

(Herts & Essex Observer)

27 March 2014

by SINEAD HOLLAND

STANSTED boss Andrew Harrison has been driving home the message that the airport can meet the capital’s growing aviation needs over the next 15 years, at the inaugural London Infrastructure Summit today (Thursday, March 27).

He told delegates the Uttlesford hub could more than double the amount of flights it handles and that improving rail links into the city would be key to unlocking its full potential.

The summit, at Kings Place in London, was supported by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and focused on the importance of infrastructure to London’s overall competitiveness.

“Stansted is an important asset for London, and making the best possible use of its capacity should be an urgent priority for Government. The airport already has the infrastructure and planning permission to handle 35m passengers a year, and the ability to handle a further 10m passengers beyond that,” said Mr Harrison, pictured.

“Wherever the Airports Commission recommends a new runway, it is critical for Londoners that we grasp the opportunity in the intervening period to make the best possible use of Stansted. That is why the commission saw rail improvements as an immediate priority for the Government to address. We believe there are practical solutions that could be implemented quickly to reduce journey times to London by more than 10 minutes. These would make a big difference to passengers, airlines, commuters and the wider region,” he added.

The theme for the event was Infrastructure fit for a world city and the programme included panel sessions on key themes across London’s main infrastructure sectors, including: the overall vision and plan for London; funding and financing; lessons learned from major projects like Crossrail; the aviation debate; and how to build long-term consensus on future priorities for London.

http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/News/Uttlesford/Airport-boss-tells-London-that-Stansted-is-solution-to-aviation-capacity-crisis-20140327145057.htm

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It Gatwick got a new runway, would the necessarily higher landing costs drive travellers to Stansted instead?

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has produced a report suggesting that if Gatwick was allowed to build a new runway, plus a new terminal, the cost of doing so (the Airports Commission  think that might be £10 – 13 billion) would mean Gatwick landing charges   would have to rise so steeply that the low cost airlines would be likely to prefer to move flights to – cheaper (and with spare space) Luton and Stansted.  See below:

A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?                  Click here to view full story…

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The Airports Commission said, in its Interim Report, on the subject  of improving rail links to Stansted in the short term:

Page 160

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf

 

Stansted
●● The Government should work with Network Rail and Transport for London on a
detailed study of the route between London and Stansted Airport and serious
consideration should be given to 4-tracking the line as far as Broxbourne
Junction, subject to a robust business case being developed. This study should
consider how enhancements to the route might benefit airport traffic, London
commuters and Cambridge traffic, recognising that any steps to enhance the
Stansted Express service through regularising or reducing journey times and
improving reliability will help the airport to play an enhanced role in supporting
London and the UK’s international connectivity. The study should take full
account of the Mayor’s London Growth Strategy.

●● The Government, Network Rail and Train Operators should work together on
options to connect Stansted Airport to a wider range of London destinations,
with a particular emphasis on making better use of the connection facilities
available at Stratford domestic station.

●● The Government should work with train operators to promote the introduction
of paperless ticketing facilities for journeys to and from Stansted Airport station.

●● The Government and the Highways Agency should monitor road congestion
around Stansted Airport, with a view to making interventions should substantial
congestion arise as traffic at the airport grows

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and in the Commission’s Airports Commission: Interim Report. Appendix 1: Assessment of Short- and Medium-Term Options – December 2013

it states:

“The Commission is recommending a study into enhancing the rail line between London and Stansted as part of its Interim Report. It is also recommending that congestion
levels on roads around Stansted be kept under review.”

 


 

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Hogan Lovells advises Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation

27 March 2014 (The Lawyer)

Hogan Lovells has announced that it has achieved an important victory for Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation at the airport.

The Civil Airport Authority (CAA) published a decision on 25 March 2014 confirming that Stansted does not have substantial market power in relation to its cargo services, and therefore will not be subject to an economic regulation licence from April 2014. This follows a decision on 10 January 2014, in which the CAA confirmed that Stansted’s passenger business would not be subject to economic regulation.

The CAA’s decisions in relation to Stansted’s passenger and cargo businesses follow a two-year review and mean that Stansted now has the freedom and opportunity to drive competition in the market. Both Heathrow and Gatwick will continue to be subject to regulation until at least 2019.

As one of the first market power assessments to be made under the Civil Aviation Act 2012, the case involved complex competition and public law issues. A cross-discipline team at Hogan Lovells, incorporating individuals within Hogan Lovells’ specialist competition law and public law and policy teams, worked closely with Stansted’s legal and regulatory teams to achieve this outcome.

The team at Hogan Lovells was led by Susan Bright and included competition partner Christopher Hutton (assisted by senior associate Thomas Smith) and partner Charles Brasted (assisted by associate Julia Marlow) from the public law and policy team. The team at Stansted included Tim Hawkins, Graeme Ferguson and Heidi Smith.

http://www.thelawyer.com/firms-and-the-bar/hogan-lovells-advises-stansted-airport-in-securing-the-end-of-economic-regulation/3018291.article

 

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easyJet says it would fly from Heathrow, “if it was right for us” debunking Gatwick’s Heathrow myth

Gatwick airport, in its bid to try to pursuade the powers-that-be of its suitability as the site of a new runway, has often said that the low cost airlines would not fly from Heathrow. However, easyJet has now said that it would consider flying from an expanded Heathrow.  Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said it would look at flying from Heathrow in future “if it was right for us”, and it if wasn’t too expensive. Gatwick claims that the increase in demand for air travel will be for short haul flights, mainly to Europe or countries adjacent to Europe. Heathrow claims the demand for air travel in future will be long haul.  According to Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines and charter carriers due to its high landing charges. But Ms McCall points out that easyJet already flies to and from other hub airports in Europe, such as Schiphol, Rome Fiumicino and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Though Heathrow has high landing charges, so do the other European  hub airports. Ms McCall made her comments shortly after easyJet announced a 7-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal, potentially forcing out British Airways. It made no mention of a 2nd Gatwick runway.
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easyJet debunks Gatwick’s Heathrow myth

Chief executive of budget carrier dismisses Gatwick’s view that Heathrow prices out low-cost airlines

EasyJet      plane
easyJet announced a seven-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal Photo: PA
By Nathalie Thomas (Telegraph)
27 Mar 2014

easyJet, the UK’s biggest airline, would consider flying from an expanded Heathrow, blowing a hole in one of rival airport Gatwick’s main arguments for why it should have the right to build Britain’s next runway.

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said the budget carrier would look at flying from Heathrow in future “if it was right for us”, debunking the myth that the west London hub prices out low-cost airlines.

Setting its case for a second runway earlier this week, Gatwick insisted it offered the best location for the next runway in the south-east of England as it caters for low-cost carriers, which are expanding at a much faster rate than legacy airlines, and meet overwhelming demand for short-haul flights to Europe.

Although businesses in the UK are keen to establish better air links with destinations in far-flung emerging markets, the bulk of demand in future will continue to be for short-haul to Europe, the West Sussex airport insisted.

According to Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines and charter carriers due to its high landing charges.

However, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ms McCall contested Gatwick’s assertions, pointing out that easyJet already flies to and from other hub airports in Europe, such as Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

“We fly out of Charles de Gaulle, we fly out of [Rome] Fiumicino, which is Alitalia’s hub, we are the number two airline out of Schiphol, which is a hub,” Ms McCall said. “If it was right for us to fly out of Heathrow…we would consider flying out of Heathrow.”

She added: “I don’t think they [Heathrow] keep out low-cost airlines, they are highly priced but so is Frankfurt, so is Charles de Gaulle, so is Schiphol.”

Heathrow is currently operating close to capacity but is in a head-to-head battle with rival Gatwick to persuade Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission that it offers the better solution to meet aviation capacity needs in the South East up to 2030.

Ms McCall made her comments shortly after easyJet announced a seven-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal, potentially forcing out British Airways.

A new runway, either at Heathrow or Gatwick, will not open for more than a decade, forcing airlines to make best use of the existing capacity.   easyJet, which is the UK’s largest airline by passenger numbers, is already Gatwick’s biggest customer. The airport accounts for about a quarter of easyJet’s entire network – the equivalent of 14m-15m passengers a year – and Ms McCall said consolidating its operations in one terminal would help it to introduce more technology and improve efficiency. However, the move could result in British Airways, which occupies Terminal 5 at Heathrow, having to transfer to Gatwick’s smaller south terminal. easyJet plans to further increase its passenger numbers at Gatwick by around 10% in the year to March 2015 alone, Ms McCall said.

easyJet has also opened its latest European base at Naples airport, as it attempts to win passengers from Italian flag carrier Alitalia.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10728483/easyJet-debunks-Gatwicks-Heathrow-myth.html

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British Airways offers cheaper ‘day trip’ fares

Cut-price fares launched for those wanting to spend just a day overseas. But is six hours in Rome really worth it?

The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be a rather short six hours 

By Natalie Paris and Oliver Smith (Telegraph)

5 Mar 2014

British Airways is offering what it claims to be “affordable day trip” tickets for anyone wanting to fly to popular city break destinations and back on the same day

The airline is offering the return fares, from Heathrow Airport only, to Dublin (from £79); Edinburgh (from £89); Geneva (from £79); Vienna (from £99); Munich (from £99) and Rome (from £89).

The flights are for those travelling with hand luggage only and are for departures on Saturdays or Sundays.

At first glance, these seem like fairly good prices, when compared to the cost of adding together two single tickets through BA. But low-cost rivals still outflank the carrier. A quick look at Ryanair’s website reveals that a day return to Dublin on a typical April weekend, for example, can be found for as little £43.78 (also hand luggage only).

Prices aside, would a day trip to Europe be worth it? The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be around nine hours – six if you take an earlier flight home – including time spent at the airports at each end. Dublin would be a better bet. A day tripper to the Irish capital could spend up to 12 hours exploring the city, including time to get to and from the airport.

Telegraph Travel ran a quick spot check on the BA website (www.ba.com) when the news was announced today to see what sort of prices we could find.

The day return tickets are not labelled as such, so took a little tracking down.

Day returns for Dublin were available for the advertised price of £79 for some weekends in March and throughout April and May. Same-day flights into and out of Edinburgh could be found for £89 during weekends in April, and return fares to Geneva were available for £79.

But the advertised prices for day returns to Munich and Rome were much harder to come by.

Taking Rome as an example, we only managed to find one available return fare between now and May 24 for £89. The price of a return on the first flight into Rome and last back to Heathrow on other weekend dates in March, April and May, variously cost from £169 up to £801 (on March 15).

BA said it could not reveal how many day trip tickets were set aside for each destination, due to the information being “commercially sensitive”, but admitted that availability changes depending on the route.

The fares are only available on flights departing at the start and the end of the day but travellers have a choice between two early or two late flights in some destinations.

Encouraging travellers to fly twice in a day might anger environmentalists. When asked to comment on the effect of such short trips, a spokesman said: “It’s the customer’s choice and they can offset their carbon emissions on the BA website if they wish to.”

The airline said it intends to roll out the fares to other European cities from Heathrow in future, where its flight schedules allow it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/10678385/British-Airways-offers-cheaper-day-trip-fares.html

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Gatwick Airport’s PR  campaign, which they call “Gatwick Obviously says, under the heading, “The Future” :

“As the popularity of low cost airlines has boomed, Gatwick has made more low cost flights available. EasyJet is now one of our largest and best known airlines. As short-haul and medium-haul flights have increased, Gatwick has offered more of these routes to its passengers, now providing 45 of the top 50 European routes for example”

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EASYJET AND GATWICK AIRPORT AGREE NEW SEVEN YEAR GROWTH AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT DEAL

27.3.2014 (EasyJet press release)

easyJet today announced that it has agreed a new seven year deal with Gatwick Airport (GAL) from April 2014 which will incentivise the airline to grow at the airport and provide the framework for easyJet and GAL to further improve customer experience for easyJet’s passengers.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO commented on the deal:

“Gatwick is our largest base so it is of strategic importance to secure this new agreement with Gatwick Airport.  easyJet shares the CAA’s view that Gatwick has market power but also supports the move towards a more commercial arrangement with the airport within a regulatory framework.

“This agreement gives easyJet certainty on passenger charges over the next seven years and a clear incentive to continue to grow. More importantly, it will create a framework for easyJet and Gatwick to plan and deliver an improved experience for our passengers.

“Our shared ambition is for Gatwick to be both our biggest and best airport.”

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said:

“This partnership with easyJet is a landmark deal in London Gatwick’s history. Four years after the end of the BAA monopoly at the airport, this partnership highlights how far we have come to be able to operate within a new framework of commitments and contracts. For passengers travelling with easyJet, they will have more choice, competitive fares and an even better experience. It is positive news for both business and leisure passengers travelling with easyJet from Gatwick.”

easyJet plans to continue to grow at Gatwick through increasing our slots and by deploying larger aircraft as easyJet replaces 156 seat A319s with 180 seat A320s and, from 2017, A320Neos. In the next year (end March 2015) alone the airline will increase capacity and passenger numbers by around 10% compared to the previous year.

The agreement has been reached within the new ‘commitments’ framework which will replace the current regulatory regime as confirmed by the CAA last year‎.

easyJet started flying from London Gatwick Airport in 1999 and now has 57 aircraft based there, operating on 108 routes. The airline has around 1400 cabin crew and 700 pilots operating from the airport.

http://corporate.easyjet.com/media/latest-news/news-year-2014/27-03-2014-en.aspx?sc_lang=en

 

 

 

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Gatwick airport PR onslaught continues: it claims a 2nd runway would bring “Olympic-style boost”

Gatwick airport continues its PR barrage, in its attempt to be chosen to be allowed a new runway. It is arguing that the way the aviation industry will develop in future will make large hub airports obsolete. The airport claims a new runway would regenerate a swath of the South East from London to the coast and create thousands of jobs, across the Gatwick Diamond and beyond. They have hired Sir Terry Farrell to design and promote their plan, and he has said: “An extra runway at Gatwick and a new transformed airport here would provide for London – from the south, Croydon and going north – a bigger economic boost than the Olympics…..It’s an area that is waiting to have this kind of input.” He probably means there is unspoilt countryside in the area around Gatwick.  The claims of benefit from a 2nd runway include promises of jobs as far away as Brighton and Hastings, and “an extra 19,000 jobs in sectors such as retail, construction and ground handling” by 2050.” At present there are about 22,000 to 25,000 jobs at Gatwick. They claim they can build the runway for £5bn to £9bn.  The Airports Commission says the cost would be £10 – 13 billion including surface access improvements.  
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‘Turbo-charged Gatwick airport would bring Olympic-style boost to south London’

 25 March 2014

Bold plan: A new terminal and two new runways in a computer generated image of Gatwick
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Expansion at Gatwick would create an economic boost to rival the Olympic-inspired regeneration of London’s East End, the airport said today.

A second runway which could be in operation by 2025 would lead to new jobs and homes in the “Gatwick triangle” stretching from the airport to the south coast towns of Southampton and Dover.

The bold vision was outlined by renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell as he set out the most detailed plans yet for the proposed £7 billion transformation of Gatwick from budget airline specialist to premier league global airport.

The Sussex airport is battling arch rival Heathrow for the right to build a new runway to solve the South East’s chronic shortage of aviation space with a recommendation to be made to ministers after the General Election.

Sir Terry told the Standard: “A second runway will do for south London what the Olympics and Stratford did for East London. There will be better rail connectivity, a boost to employment and more homes. A second runway also brings with it investment in hotels, cargo holding and warehousing.

New terminal: the two-runway Gatwick, would include an upgraded station/transport interchange and inter-terminal transport link

“It will turbo charge that corridor all the way down to the south coast and do a lot for the natural growth of London in a balanced way.“

Dismissing Heathrow’s plans for a three-runway hub, Sir Terry added: “You have to think about a whole panning strategy for the South East. We’ve in the past talked about a constellation (of runways) but it’s really integrated connectivity of rail, roads and airports.

“A metropolis is different to smaller towns and cities like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Dubai. Places like New York, Tokyo don’t build single airports – they build networks because they are regionally based. They’ve got to supply a complete system and to spread around. “

He said Gatwick would be balanced with the offer from Heathrow, Stansted and Birmingham which will be within 30 minutes from Old Oak Common when HS2 opens.

“It’s a question of how to make London work as the hub” he said.

The public’s experience of Gatwick would be “transformed” as passengers arrive and depart using a single transport gateway, linking rail, coach and taxis and modelled on Seoul’s Incheon aiport, also designed by Sir Terry.

A new third terminal would be dedicated to the second runway and all three terminals would be linked by a rail shuttle.

Gatwick says the airport would be much more compact than Heathrow and has guaranteed it would take passengers no more than 45 minutes from arrival at the hub to reach their plane.

Transport hub: it is hoped the plans would result in natural growth for London and the south east

Sir Terry, whose CV also includes the MI6 building and Charing Cross station, said: “It will be a completely different kind of airport which will be as good as the best in the world, it’s a transformation of the airport with a new hub for road and rail with a shuttle which will link the terminals in a way you can’t do as efficiently at Heathrow. It’s going to be very compact and on the passenger side a totally new airport.”

Unveiling its “Gatwick for growth” campaign at the Shard today, chief executive Stewart Wingate said a second runway at Gatwick would create an extra 170 million passenger journeys by 2050.

He said short-haul direct flights would continue to account for two thirds of the market and Gatwick was best positioned to supply this. Mr Wingate insisted that the UK did not need Heathrow’s hub – which offers a wider range of transfer destinations –  because these could increasingly be reached flying longer-range planes.

A second runway at Gatwick would create 27 more destinations than expanding Heathrow. By 2030, Airport charges – passed onto passengers in airfares – would rise to £12 to £15 at Gatwick and £35 at Heathrow, although analysts say a third runway at Heathrow could make it cheaper and more attractive to budget airlines. [These low figures are contested – the cost is actually likely to be more like £33 per head at Gatwick, up from around £8 now. These estimates take in the higher cost of the runway + terminal, as estimated by the Airports Commission, not Gatwick’s very low estimate.   Link ].

Heathrow insists only a hub can serve the UK’s long-term economic interests by connecting to emerging markets. Heathrow also remains the preferred destination of the major airlines alliances.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/turbocharged-gatwick-airport-would-bring-olympicstyle-boost-to-south-london-9214054.html

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Also:

Gatwick steps up fight for airport expansion

By Jane Wild (Financial Times)

25.3.2014

Expanding Gatwick would regenerate a swath of the South East from London to the coast and create thousands of jobs, the airport argued on Tuesday as it stepped up its campaign to be allowed to build a second runway.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3f1d59ea-b42a-11e3-a102-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2x3kXFk3x

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This is the Gatwick airport press release:

Expanded Gatwick best for UK growth and London regeneration

25 March 2014

As Gatwick unveils a campaign – ‘Gatwick Obviously’ – to step up its case for expansion, emerging findings from new research that will be submitted to the Airports Commission in May show that with a second runway at Gatwick there would be more connections to more destinations than with a third runway at Heathrow.

Work led by Sir Terry Farrell also shows how expansion at Gatwick would provide better balanced growth for London, the region and the UK. With the majority of traffic shared between London’s two major airports, the economic benefits would be more evenly distributed across London and the South East and have significant regenerative benefits in particular for South London, including Croydon and down to Brighton and the South Coast.

An expanded Gatwick would help the UK connect to 27 more destinations than a third runway at Heathrow (442 vs 415 destinations served from London). The same research also shows that a second runway, as part of the network of airports surrounding London, would cater for 11 million more passengers each year by 2050 than a three-runway Heathrow.

Gatwick today also committed to bringing the economic benefits of an additional runway as fast as possible to the UK. Subject to Government approval and assuming quick decision making, Gatwick believes it can start construction of a new runway before the end of the next parliament in 2020, with the first flights taking off by the end of the following one in 2025.

The new information was presented today by Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick CEO, and Sir Terry Farrell, the UK’s leading architect planner, at an event at the Shard in Central London for political and business leaders.

Stewart Wingate said: “The next runway needs to bring the greatest economic return for the UK at the lowest environmental cost. That makes Gatwick the obvious answer as we will be able to connect to more destinations in the future because we are the only airport to cater for all airline models. It is the best solution that embraces long term aviation trends. It can also be delivered in less time with less cost and less noise. Most importantly, passengers will benefit from more choice and better value for money. If chosen – and with swift decision making – we are committing today to start work on site in the next Parliament.”

Sir Terry Farrell said: “I have no doubt that with a second runway, Gatwick will deliver more balanced, and more widely spread, economic growth for London and the South East. Expansion at Gatwick could do for South London and the wider region what the Olympics did for East London and give a huge boost in terms of jobs, housing and regeneration.”

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/

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Actual cost of Gatwick runway, according to the Airports Commission:

[The Gatwick  press release does not mention the figure Gatwick often claims, of being able to build the new runway for £5 – 9 billion or so. By contrast, the Airports Commission’s interim report, published on 17th December, said:

” The costs of expansion at Gatwick, while substantial (estimated to be between
£10-13 billion over the period to 2030, once the costs of surface access
improvements are taken into account, and with allowances for risk and optimism
bias), are lower than those of expansion at Heathrow and significantly lower than
those of any new hub airport.”

Page 196 of  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf

 

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See also

 

A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?

Click here to view full story…

 

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Tui’s Chief Executive Peter Long calls for staggered school holidays – to cut prices?

Tui’s Chief Exec, Mr Long, has suggested that parents who send their children to private schools, which break up earlier than state schools, should pay more because “they can afford it.”  He has apparently discussed this with the Dept for Education, and wants different counties to stagger school breaks to “enable holiday costs at peak periods to come down.”  The higher costs in peak time are, or course, because the travel companies choose to put their charges up then – the whole holiday industry capitalises on the higher demand.  Mr Long said the price difference between a holiday booked at the beginning of July (some private schools break up in early July) and one for the start of August was 20%. The industry wants a widening of the main holiday periods so that, in fact, they can charge more for holidays for more weeks, by spreading the demand. He seems to be a bit confused between private school parents, and staggering term dates between regions. Parents who scrimp and save and go without many consumer delights in order to pay for private school fees, are incensed by Mr Long’s proposals and lack of understanding. 
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Tui’s Chief Executive Peter Long calls for staggered school holidays 

By Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)
24 March 2014

Parents who send their children to private schools, which break up earlier than state schools, should pay more because “they can afford it,” according to Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long.

Long told the Financial Times he had discussed the issue with the education department and proposed that counties stagger school breaks to enable holiday costs at peak periods to come down.

He said the price difference between a holiday booked at the beginning of July and one for the start of August was 20%.

“There is an irony in that for the 93% of children in state schools, the holiday starts at the end of July. For the 7% of children that go to private schools, the holiday starts at the beginning of July,” Long said.

“Those that can afford to pay more for their holiday don’t have to pay more for their holiday because they can go in the first two weeks of July.”

If school breaks were staggered, those families who benefit from being able to go away in the first two weeks of July would see their prices go up, he added.

“They might moan but, arguably you could say they can afford it,” said Long.

The Tui chief said he raised the issue with the education department because he is president of the Family Holiday Association, which provides holidays for impoverished families.

Education secretary Michael Gove last month accused travel companies of attempting “to fleece parents” by ramping up holiday prices at certain times of the year.

But seeking “to dispel some of the myths”, Long said Tui Travel does not “suddenly put all the prices up” when schools break up.

“It’s because our costs go up as well, because we’re having to pay more for our hotel rooms in periods of high demand, which is economics,” he said.

Asked about the cost of a two-week all-inclusive holiday in high summer, Long said: “It’s great value and it’s not expensive. But it’s more expensive than a holiday in a period of lower demand.”

Mr Gove is proposing legislation to allow all schools to change term dates.

But Long said the best approach was to replicate the German model and stagger school breaks by county to “flatten the peak”.

The impact on Tui Travel would be neutral, he added.

“It’s effectively saying we’ll get a higher price at the beginning of July and therefore we can have a lower price in August,” said Long.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2014/03/24/47363/tuis+long+calls+for+staggered+school+holidays.html

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Below are some of the comments below the article:

    • Wouldn’t staggering the school holidays just allow the tour ops to charge peak prices for an extra few weeks? I can’t see prices coming down in August just cos they sold a few more holidays in June as a result of staggering dates can you.

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  • Mr Long, how on earth can you assume that parents who send their children to private school can afford to pay more? Many parents, like myself, scrimp and save to send their child to a private school and this often means going without a holiday at all. To state that we can afford to pay more is just WRONG. It might be an idea to get your facts right before making such inflammatory comments in future.

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    The problem is supply and demand. Most of Europe is off in August. I believe that schools could shorten the 6 weeks in summer to 4 weeks and then give each child two floating weeks that they could take over a twelve month period. Then if the child comes from a split family they could take a week with each parent during the year or the family could go away together for the whole two weeks, with a proviso that the child’s attendance is at an acceptable level.

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    I like the idea of staggering school holidays but I think that the impact on demand and pricing for regional departures should be considered. It could lead to regional departures being in high demand while the children in that area are off school which would then be reflected in the pricing. For it to work neighbouring regions would have to have very different dates eg. Greater manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and west and south Yorkshire could all have very different school holiday dates in order to spread demand for Manchester flights. I’m not sure how it would effect smaller airports such as Doncaster, leeds and Liverpool.

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  • I can’t believe the two negative comments both mention ‘forgo-ing’ holidays, yet in the same rant condemn Mr Long’s comments who suggests ‘arguably can afford it’.
    Obviously not every parent will be able to afford it, the same as not every state schooled parent would be able to afford an off-peak holiday. But I would think that the vast majority of private schooled parents ‘could’ afford the additional costs. I ‘applaud’ you for forgo-ing holidays for the sake of your childrens educations.

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  • Why does Mr Long and TUI say this is a class issue,Private Schools Vs State, assuming people who can afford private schools have more money than those who send their kids to a state school. I work in the travel industry which is not the best paid, but i forgo Holidays, newish cars, and rent a house, because i have chosen to educate my child privately. It sounds as though Long and TUI have a strange way of addressing their critics.

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    Earlier:

    Government response rejects petition asking for no APD during school summer holidays

    18.2.2014

    A petition to the Treasury has been created, asking that the government suspend or reduce Air Passenger Duty  (APD)during the school summer holidays. The petition says British families need quality time together at a time they legally can (parents are not meant to take children out of school in term time).  Quite why the families have to get on a plane in order to have quality time together is not explained.  As the number signing is now around 38,000 there has been a response from the government. They say “APD exists to provide revenues for the public services. Revenue from APD plays an important part in supporting this Government’s stabilisation of the UK’s public finances.” They add that APD is charged by the airlines, and they have the option of not  passing the cost on to the passengers. They also say that APD for the majority of flights, which are to Europe, is only £13 for a return trip. “The duty makes up a relatively small proportion of the total ticket cost. For example, it is less than 9% of the cost of an early booking for return flights for a family of four to Málaga in July 2014. Other charges imposed by airlines, such as fuel or luggage surcharges, can make up a much higher proportion of the total ticket price.” The industry ramps up the price of flights and holidays during July and August, by far more than the price of APD.  For instance, holiday price £2,015.59 in August and £1,214 for the same trip in late September.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19977
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British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel from London’s rubbish – announcement soon?

GreenAir online gives an update on the anticipated biofuel plant (costing around $500 million)  to be built in east London, to produce diesel and jet fuel.  GreenAir says that according to British Airways’ a 20-acre (8ha) site has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging.”  GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of London  municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will – they hope – meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport.  BA hope they can claim annual carbon savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.”  “The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne, so the scheme hopes to get the rubbish cheaply – saving councils the landfill tax.  Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel produced by the plant. They hope to start building in early 2015 and start producing fuel in 2017.
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21.3.2014

GreenAir online reports on the planned British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel out of London’s rubbish

Extract from longer GreenAir online article, covering other sources and schemes of aviation biofuel  – longer article at   http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1838

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The recent Bio Jet Fuel conference at the World Bio Markets in Amsterdam brought together the aviation and biofuel sectors to discuss progress.   GreenAir reports from the event on the latest developments in Europe and further afield.

According to British Airways’ Head of Environment, Jonathon Counsell, a 20-acre (8ha) site in east London has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging,” he said.
GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of [London’s?]  municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport.

“We are doing this to help reduce our carbon emissions, not to get a source of cheap fuel,” said Counsell, who expects annual savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.

“The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne.  Within a 25-mile radius of the proposed plant there is some 10 million tonnes of available municipal waste. We do not want to pay a premium for this fuel so there are financial instruments built into the agreement to protect us from any price risk.”

Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel – worth $500 million at today’s prices – produced by the plant. “This has been critical to attracting investors,” said Counsell. “The downside is the significant capital investment, around $500 million. To de-risk the project it also requires world-class partners.”

The upside of the technology, he said, were GHG life-cycle savings of up to 95%, methane savings and no ILUC (indirect land use change) issues.

Construction is to start by early next year [2015] that will take two years, with production starting in 2017, forecasts Counsell. Around 1,000 construction jobs and 200 operational roles are envisaged.

Counsell was critical of a lack of interest by the UK government over aviation biofuels. “It is apparent to us that some governments are very supportive of their aviation industry and others are less,” he said. “What we need from our government is regulatory support and a level playing field with biodiesel.”


Artist’s impression of GreenSky plant:

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http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1838


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Earlier:

 

Solena partnership with BA to produce jet fuel from London municipal waste – delayed over 2 years?

10.9.2012In 2010 it was announced that Solena and BA would build a plant to produce jet fuel in London. Solena hoped the new aviation fuel would be produced from several types of waste materials destined for landfill. The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014. In 2010 they said the self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year. However, the timetable has slipped. There is no planning application yet.  It seems they hope for “notice to proceed” in 2013.  One website said the project will start in 2nd quarter of 2014 and end 2nd quarter 2016.  Oxford Catalysts were selected to supply the modular Fischer-Tropsch technology . There has been no planning application yet at Rainham Marshes. The timetable seems to have slipped by at least 27 months.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=457.

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 See earlier:
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Is the Solena / British Airways plan for jetfuel from London domestic waste greenwash?

16 March 2012

Damian Carrington, of the Guardian, discusses the potential benefits of the plant in East London that is to be built by 2015 by Solena, to turn London’s household waste into jet fuel. It will also produce some electricity.  British Airways is pushing ahead with a plant that aims to turn half a million tonnes of Londoner’s household rubbish into 50,000 tonnes a year of jet fuel. Damian says: ” I’ll let you decide if this is greenwash or not: here’s some of the details.” BA’s Jonathan Counsel says ”We accept we are a significant source of emissions, and growing,” he says. “Taking action is about earning our right to grow.” Boeing says the industry wants to get 1% biofuel into the global jet fuel supply by 2015,  which equates to 600m US gallons a year. And more if it can.  Why should this household waste go to aviation fuel, rather than energy for other uses?

 

(Someone commented on this article that – as the location of the  plant is still unknown – “One of the construction mags indicated that it was “Rainham Marshes” and I gather there is already a convenient Veolia landfill site there on the Thames shore.” ??

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1539  including earlier news on Solena / BA.

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British Airways partner with Solena to convert trash into jet fuel

By 

February 16, 2010

British Airways and Washington, D.C.-based bioenergy firm the Solena Group announced on Monday a partnership to establish Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant and convert trash into jet fuel.
The new fuel will be derived from waste biomass and manufactured in a new facility that can convert several types of waste materials destined for landfill into aviation fuel.The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014.The self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year.Quick hits about the savings:

  • The plant offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95 percent compared to fossil-fuel derived jet kerosene.
  • The project will reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill.
  • The plant itself will be CO2 neutral, and will emit oxygen, plus small quantities of nitrogen, argon, steam and carbon dioxide.
  • The only solid waste product is an inert vitrified slag material, which can be used as an alternative to aggregates used in construction.
  • Tail gas can be used to produce 20MW of excess electricity for export to the national grid or converted into steam to be used in a district heating system.

The green fuel will be produced by feeding waste into a patented high temperature gasifier that produces BioSynGas, or biomass-derived synthetic gas. Using a process known as Fischer Tropsch, the gas is converted into biofuels to produce biojet fuel and bionaphtha.

Bionaphtha is used as a blending component in gasoline, as well as a feedstock for the petrochemicals industry.

The resulting fuel would make all of British Airways’ flights at nearby London City Airport carbon-neutral, and is the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road per year, BA says.

British Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase all the fuel produced by the plant, which will be built by Solena.

“This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050,” said British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh in prepared remarks. ” We believe it will lead to the production of a real sustainable alternative to jet kerosene. We are absolutely determined to reduce our impact on climate change and are proud to lead the way on aviation’s environmental initiatives.”

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/british-airways-partner-with-solena-to-convert-trash-into-jet-fuel/4282

 

 

 

 

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Penn Medicine researchers show how lost sleep might lead to lost brain neurons

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found evidence that not getting enough sleep does actual harm to the brain.  Instead of the usual solution of inadequate sleep, of trying to catch up on the hours when time permits, the Penn Medicine research indicates that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. It seems extended wakefulness is linked to injury to, and loss of, neurons that are essential for alertness and optimal cognition, the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons. There is a change in a protein linked to mitochondrial energy production in the cells.  The research is published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience. The research so far is in mice, and involved normal rest, short wakefulness, or extended wakefulness.  In humans there is some earlier evidence that attention span and several other aspects of cognition may not normalize even with 3 days of recovery sleep, after sleep deprivation, raising the question of lasting injury in the brain.  Researchers say more work needs to be done to establish whether a similar phenomenon occurs in humans and to determine what durations of wakefulness place individuals at risk of neural injury.
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First Report in Preclinical Study Showing Extended Wakefulness Can Result in Neuronal Injury

18.3.2014 (Penn Medicine)

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/veasey/

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA — Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Related Links

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Health System

Using a mouse model of chronic sleep loss, Sigrid Veasey, MD , associate professor of Medicine and a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine and collaborators from Peking University, have determined that extended wakefulness is linked to injury to, and loss of, neurons that are essential for alertness and optimal cognition, the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons.

“In general, we’ve always assumed full recovery of cognition following short- and long-term sleep loss,” Veasey says. “But some of the research in humans has shown that attention span and several other aspects of cognition may not normalize even with three days of recovery sleep, raising the question of lasting injury in the brain. We wanted to figure out exactly whether chronic sleep loss injures neurons, whether the injury is reversible, and which neurons are involved.”

Mice were examined following periods of normal rest, short wakefulness, or extended wakefulness, modeling a shift worker’s typical sleep pattern. The Veasey lab found that in response to short-term sleep loss, LC neurons upregulate the sirtuin type 3 (SirT3) protein, which is important for mitochondrial energy production and redox responses, and protect the neurons from metabolic injury. SirT3 is essential across short-term sleep loss to maintain metabolic homeostasis, but in extended wakefulness, the SirT3 response is missing. After several days of shift worker sleep patterns, LC neurons in the mice began to display reduced SirT3, increased cell death, and the mice lost 25 percent of these neurons.

“This is the first report that sleep loss can actually result in a loss of neurons,” Veasey notes. Particularly intriguing is, that the findings suggest that mitochondria in LC neurons respond to sleep loss and can adapt to short-term sleep loss but not to extended wake. This raises the possibility that somehow increasing SirT3 levels in the mitochondria may help rescue neurons or protect them across chronic or extended sleep loss. The study also demonstrates the importance of sleep for restoring metabolic homeostasis in mitochondria in the LC neurons and possibly other important brain areas, to ensure their optimal functioning during waking hours.

Veasey stresses that more work needs to be done to establish whether a similar phenomenon occurs in humans and to determine what durations of wakefulness place individuals at risk of neural injury. “In light of the role for SirT3 in the adaptive response to sleep loss, the extent of neuronal injury may vary across individuals. Specifically, aging, diabetes, high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle may all reduce SirT3. If cells in individuals, including neurons, have reduced SirT3 prior to sleep loss, these individuals may be set up for greater risk of injury to their nerve cells.”

The next step will be putting the SirT3 model to the test. “We can now over-express SirT3 in LC neurons,” explains Veasey.  “If we can show that we can protect the cells and wakefulness, then we’re launched in the direction of a promising therapeutic target for millions of shift workers.”

The team also plans to examine shift workers post-mortem for evidence of increased LC neuron loss and signs of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, since some previous mouse models have shown that lesions or injury to LC neurons can accelerate the course of those diseases. While not directly causing theses diseases, “injuring LC neurons due to sleep loss could potentially facilitate or accelerate neurodegeneration in individuals who already have these disorders,” Veasey says.

While more research will be needed to settle these questions, the present study provides another confirmation of a rapidly growing scientific consensus:  sleep is more important than was previously believed.

In the past, Veasey observes, “No one really thought that the brain could be irreversibly injured from sleep loss.”  It’s now clear that it can be.

Additional Penn authors on the study include Yan Zhu, Guanxia Zhan, Polina Fenik, Lori Panossian, Maxime M. Wang, Shayla Reid, David Lai, James G. Davis, and Joseph A. Baur.

The research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 HL079555, HL096037, and R01 DK098656).

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/veasey/

 

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Lost sleep leads to lost brain cells, says study

FoxNews.com
  • 694940094001_1409784734001_640-brain.jpg

Missing out on sleep for consecutive nights may do more than make you pour a larger coffee—it may lead to irreversible damage of brain cells.

It’s commonly thought that “catching up” on shut-eye after a few sleepless nights is enough to reset the body without lasting effects, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now linked extended wakefulness with injury to, and loss of, neurons that are essential for alertness and optimal cognition.

Extended wakefulness occurs when the body is awake for periods outside of usual sleep periods. For example, working the night shift for three days, then spending the remainder of the week on a usual cycle with one’s family. Or cramming for an exam in the nights leading up to the test, then resuming one’s regular schedule.

“It’s a pretty realistic pattern, [having] three night shifts a week,” Dr. Sigrid Veasey, an associate professor of medicine and a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania told FoxNews.com. “It’s a realistic amount of sleep loss.”

Using that information, Veasey and her team studied mice in an environment that mimicked a shift worker’s typical sleep pattern. They found that short-term sleep loss led to damage of the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons, a small group of neurons essential for the brain’s alertness and cognition.  The LC neurons regulate the sirtuin type 3 (SirT3) protein, an enzyme that manages oxidative stress. The body uses mitochondria to generate energy, but a byproduct of that work are cell-damaging free radicals. SirT3 responds by making antioxidants that wipe out these free radicals. However, with extended wakefulness, the SirT3 is reduced, along with the LC neurons.

“Odds are that for short-term, if you’re pulling an all-nighter and your normal bedtime is 10 or 11 pm, and you stay up until 1 or 2 pm, you’re probably fine if you do that once. The SirT3 [level] goes up and clears out the garbage,” Veasey said. “If you have extended sleep loss repeated night after night for three consecutive nights, you don’t get the SirT3 response. Without that, there’s a lot of oxidative injury, a loss of 25 to 30 percent of those neurons … If that happens time and time again over a lifetime, it can lead to  irreversible cognitive impairment.”

The loss of LC neurons manifests as problems with higher cognitive function, being unable to integrate facts, a depressed mood and lapses in attention. Previous animal studies have also shown that LC neuron loss accelerated the course of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

“It’s a pretty significant problem from this tiny little collection of neurons,” Veasey said.

While the symptoms sound like they’d be easily noticeable, Veasey warned that chronic lack of sleep can throws off one’s perceptions.

“One of the things that’s really important with chronic sleep disorders is that there have been studies that if you’re actually sleep deprived … over time you lose the sense of how impaired you are— you feel like it’s just your normal self,” she said.

Moving forward, researchers plan to study how to increase SirT3 activity to protect people from cognitive impairment after sleep loss. Veasey noted that this understanding will be invaluable for military operations, physicians, nurses and health care workers who regularly work with extended sleep loss.

“[Sleep loss] is a major health problem, as well as a quality of life problem,” she said.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/19/lost-sleep-leads-to-lost-brain-cells-says-study/

 

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Zac Goldsmith and HACAN launch short film contest over Heathrow 3rd runway plan

Tory MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, and environmental campaigner, Zac Goldsmith has launched a film competition  (with HACAN) to highlight opposition to a 3rd Heathrow runway – with £10,000 as the first prize.  In an escalation of the anti-expansion campaign at Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith has also recruited celebrities to the cause with actor Hugh Grant and former Tory MP Giles Brandreth among the competition judges.  Entrants to the competition will need to submit a short film (under 2 minutes) to highlight opposition to the runway.  Shortlisted entries will be judged by the panel at a gala evening of 800 guests at the Richmond Theatre on 18th June with the prize money provided by Zac.  The competition is called “No Ifs, No Buts”, recalling David Cameron’s infamous pre-election pledge made in 2009 to an audience in Richmond not to allow a 3rd runway to be built at Heathrow. The competition is looking for powerful messages that will be taken up on social and conventional media, and ram home the message that Heathrow expansion is not only the wrong solution for our economy, it is politically undeliverable. The closing date for video entries is 1st June.
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On Twitter at  @videoheathrow

 

MP Zac Goldsmith launches movie contest over Heathrow expansion

Zac Goldsmith and Boris oppose 3rd runway plans
MATTHEW BEARD, TRANSPORT EDITOR (Standard)

24 March 2014

Tory MP and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith today launched a film competition to highlight opposition to a third runway at Heathrow with £10,000 as the first prize.

In an escalation of the anti-expansion campaign, Goldsmith has also recruited celebrities to the cause with actor Hugh Grant and former Tory MP Giles Brandreth among the competition judges.

Entrants to the competition will be asked to submit a short film to highlight opposition to a third runway.

Shortlisted entries will be judged by the panel at a gala evening of 800 guests at the Richmond Theatre on 18 June with the prize money provided by Mr Goldsmith.

The competition is called “No Ifs, No Buts”, recalling David Cameron’s infamous pre-election pledge made in 2009 to an audience in Richmond not to allow a third runway to be built at Heathrow.

The Government’s aviation commission has since shortlisted Heathrow and Gatwick as sites for a new runway and will make its recommendation after next year’s election.

Mr Goldsmith said, “The competition is open to absolutely everyone, and will be judged on the night by a high- profile panel, as well as the audience itself. Among the submissions, I’m looking for some really powerful messages that will be taken up on social and conventional media, and ram home the message that Heathrow expansion is not only the wrong solution for our economy, it is politically undeliverable.

“A green light for Heathrow expansion is effectively a green light for a vast, foreign-owned and taxpayer-subsidised monopoly on one edge of our great city. It is astonishing that the idea is even in consideration, particularly given that freeing Gatwick from the BAA monopoly has worked wonders for the airport and its customers.

“We should invest in improving London’s surface connections, maximising rather than suffocating competition between three main airports. The Chancellor needs to stop being led by the lobby groups and think the issue through himself.”

John Stewart of anti-expansion group HACAN said: “Many people are hugely disappointed that David Cameron has gone back on his promise not to build a new runway at Heathrow. This ‘No ifs; no buts’ competition can highlight that.”

Mr Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, has been a thorn in the Tories’ side over Heathrow and has threatened to leave the party if they back a third runway.

In a council-run poll last May, almost three quarters of residents of Richmond, Hillingdon and Hounslow – some 100,000 respondents – opposed a third runway, However Heathrow said the survey was based on an outdated run proposal.

The closing date for video entries is 1st June.

More details about the competition can be found at www.no-ifs-no-buts.com

Amateur or professional, it’s your chance to be creative! Submit a video………anything up to 2 minutes long to show why Heathrow expansion is the wrong answer. The best 10 entries will be screened at the Richmond theatre in June in front of celebrity judges.

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No ifs No buts

 

Actual text from Conservative election leaflet for the May 2010 election.                                   Full leaflet at  http://www.electionleaflets.org/leaflets/full/b58fa8c95aec5d810bfe2ebb16bcbf91/

 

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The No Ifs No Buts website says:

 

FACTS

Some facts to help you on your way:

Noise and air pollution:

  • A plane lands at Heathrow every 90 seconds
  • 725,000 people live under the Heathrow flight paths, that is, 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise across Europe
  • A 3rd runway would bring in around 260,000 extra flights a year
  • Air Pollution levels in parts of West London already exceeds the European legal limits
  • A 3rd runway would make Heathrow the biggest single emitter of CO2 – the climate change gas – in the UK

Heathrow today:

  • Heathrow has 990 departure flights each week to the world’s key business centres. That is more than its two closest rivals, Charles de Gaulle (484) and Frankfurt (450), combined.
  • More passengers fly in and out of London than any other city in the world. Paris, our nearest competitor, is in 5th place.
  • London has 7 runways – more than all other European cities except Paris which has 8.

Heathrow is poorly used:

  • Heathrow has the terminal capacity to accommodate at least another 20 million passengers a year.
  • Of the top 10 destinations, by number of flights, only one, New York, is long haul. The rest are European or British destinations.
  • On average there are 38 daily flights to Amsterdam, 36 to Frankfurt, 35 to Paris, 35 to Edinburgh, 29 to Manchester.
  • Business trips are less than 20 per cent of the London passenger total

Case against the Hub airport:

  • Growing numbers of experts believe a mega-hub at Heathrow is unnecessary and would inhibit competition and restrict choice.
  • In 2008 David Cameron said; “The economic value of transfer passengers is hotly disputed – after all, they often spend only the price of a cup of coffee in the UK”.
  • In 2009, David Cameron said: “There are now increasing grounds to believe that the economic case is flawed.”
  • David Cameron later promised that if he were to become prime minister there would be no new runway at Heathrow, “no ifs, no buts”.
  • Former Chief Executive of British Airways Bob Ayling told the Sunday Times in 2008 that a third runway would be “a costly mistake……against Britain’s economic interests”
  • Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport said: “Other countries, such as Germany, have a ‘multi-hub’ airport model – they link their major airports with high-speed rail, and spread the economic activity. They do not stick to the old-fashioned model of just one major airport.”

Safety:

  • In the past five years, there have been 260 emergency or urgent landings at Heathrow, roughly one per week, as a result of problems such as engine failure, fuel shortages.

You might also like to check out these articles:

Simon Jenkins in The Evening Standard

Joseph Blake (Plane Stupid) writing for The Guardian

John Stewart (HACAN) on how the economy is not dependent on a 3rd runway at Heathrow

Article in the Daily Mail on the noise impacts

Article in The Independent on the health impacts

The number of people disturbed by noise (HACAN)

Air pollution impacts (HACAN)

New model of aircraft undermine arguments for a mega-hub airport (Zac Goldsmith)

Steve Norris on why Heathrow expansion cannot be delivered

and these briefings:

The case against a third runway (HACAN)

Campaign for Better Transport report on inadequacy of surface access at Heathrow

How well connected is Heathrow? (Aviation Environment Federation)

Short Haul flights clogging up Heathrow (HACAN)

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CEREMONY  

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