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

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

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

17.4.2015 (BusinessGreen staff)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

16.4.2015 (Reuters)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CEO letter is published here: CEO Letter

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

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 The letter:  

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

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

16.4.2015

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

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

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

Our commitments

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

Our vision supporting a climate deal

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

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

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

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


Signatories

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

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

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

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

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Emirates is soon to take delivery of a 2-class version of A380 with 615 seats (rather than more usual <530)

The A380-800 is the largest passenger airliner, which has a theoretical maximum certified capacity of 853 passengers (538 on the main deck and 315 on the upper), achievable with a one-class configuration. However, no airline has ever come even close to that number. Airbus says a “comfortable three-class” 525-passenger configuration” is possible, and a few airlines approach that.  Emirates will start taking delivery of planes with 2 classes, seating 615 passengers, the most ever seen, and will start flying the plane between Dubai and Copenhagen in December.  The Boeing 747-400 passenger plane can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout.  They typically carry between 350 to 400 people. Airlines with A380s include luxury facilities for first class passengers, such as in-flight showers, taking up a lot of space. Now some airlines are said to be considering not just the 10 seats abreast configuration as in economy class, but increasing to 11 seats abreast. However, it is understood that Emirates have dismissed the idea. The number of passengers per plane using Heathrow has risen. It is now around 214, compared to 209 in summer 2012 and 202 in summer 2011.
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Sharing a plane with 614 other passengers is soon to become a reality

Some airlines are even considering an 11-abreast configuration on the Airbus, something that has not been used in any other aircraft

by Simon Calder (Independent)

16.4.2015

The world’s biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, is finally to overtake the rival Boeing 747 for the highest number of passengers carried in scheduled flight. Emirates is soon to take delivery of a two-class version with 615 seats, and will start flying the plane between Dubai and Copenhagen in December.

The Boeing 747 Jumbo jet transformed aviation when it entered service in 1970 with a flight from New York to London. The plane typically holds 350 to 400 people, but a specially adapted version for Japan Airlines carried 563 passengers on short-haul flights.

The A380 “Superjumbo” started flying commercially in 2007. It is significantly bigger than the 747, and is certified to carry up to 853 people in an all-economy arrangement. But no airline has so far configured it with anything like that capacity. Korean Airlines has only 407 passengers on its Superjumbo, while some Air France jets carry 538.

A380 aircraft comes into lane at Heathrow Airport Emirates is the biggest customer for the plane, and has installed facilities for first-class passengers such as an inflight shower. At present the densest passenger configuration is a version seating 517. It includes 14 first-class seats, which in the new version are being removed to make room for seven times that number of economy seats. Many of Emirates’ routes do not have a high proportion of wealthy flyers or business passengers, and the thinking is that the new version is the most efficient use of on-board space.

The new configuration retains the 10-abreast economy class that is common to the A380 and the 747.

Some airlines are considering an 11-abreast configuration on the Airbus, something that has not been used in any other aircraft. But Emirates is believed to have dismissed the idea.

The highest number of passengers ever carried on a single aircraft is 1,122, aboard an El Al Boeing 747 in 1991 during “Operation Solomon,” to airlift Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/sharing-a-plane-with-614-other-passengers-is-soon-to-become-a-reality-10182038.html

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Wikipedia:

A380

While the A380-800 is certified for up to 853 passengers (538 on the main deck and 315 on the upper), achievable with a one-class configuration, Airbus references a “comfortable three-class” 525-passenger configuration in their marketing material however few airlines have configured A380s with that many seats.

Of the planes currently in service, the passenger capacity ranges from 407 (Korean Air) to 538 passengers (Air France). In late 2015, Emirates will start taking delivery of planes seating 615 passengers, the most ever seen.  Airbus offers 11-abreast seats for delivery in 2017.

Some airlines have speculated configuring the planes for higher seat numbers,[7] including a one-class layout seating 840 people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A380_seat_configurations


 

Wikipedia:

Boeing 747

The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high density one-class configuration.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747


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Heathrow data from ACL for the summer half year 2015 shows there was an average of 214 seats per plane, using Heathrow. 

http://www.acl-uk.org/UserFiles/File/LHR%20S15%20Start%20of%20Season%20Report.pdf

Heathrow Summer 2015 passenger by plane size

ACL data from other years at

http://www.acl-uk.org/reportsStatistics.aspx?id=98&subjectId=33

 

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

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

We will:

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

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

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

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

We will:

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

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

One of their 5 green laws will be:

A Zero Carbon Britain Act which will include:

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

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

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

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

We will:

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

….. ”   and it continues …

….

Liberal Democrat manifesto at

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


This is the Green Party manifesto:

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

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What the Conservative manifesto says on runways (nothing), climate etc (not a lot)

The Conservative Party manifesto was launched on 14th April 2015.  On runways or airports, its only mention is to say: “We will deliver on our National Infrastructure Plan and respond to the Airports Commission’s final report.” ie. there will be no “swift” decision as per Labour. Does that mean they will revisit the Estuary airport idea, or Stansted? There is little on climate, other than to say (carefully chosen, non-committal wording) that: “We will push for a strong global climate deal later this year – one that keeps the goal of limiting global warming to two-degrees firmly in reach. At home, we will continue to support the UK Climate Change Act.” They say: ” Our tax cuts have encouraged record levels of investment in existing North Sea gas, and the birth of a new industry, shale gas, which could create many thousands of jobs.” They say they will  build new infrastructure in an environmentally-sensitive way: “We will build new roads and railways in a way that limits, as far as possible, their impact on the environment.” [But there is no mention of building a new runway in an environmentally sensitive way!]  And they “will protect the Green Belt, and maintain national protections for AONBs, National Parks, SSSIs and other environmental designations.”
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Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

Some extracts from the Manifesto on environmental issues:

 

We will spend more on infrastructure, to improve your quality of life .  Overall public investment will be higher on average over this decade, as a percentage of GDP, than under the whole period of the last Labour Government. We will deliver on our National Infrastructure Plan and respond to the Airports Commission’s final report.

On clean, affordable energy it says:

Our commitment to you:

…..”meet our climate change commitments, cutting carbon emissions as cheaply as possible, to save you money”

——

We will push for a strong global climate deal later this year – one that keeps the goal of limiting global warming to two-degrees firmly in reach. At home, we will continue to support the UK Climate Change Act.

We will work to prevent climate change and assist the poorest in adapting to it.

 

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Our long-term plan has unlocked £59 billion of investment in electricity. All parts of the UK will soon be helping to deliver secure, affordable and low-carbon energy, from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, to offshore wind turbine manufacturing at the new Green Port in Hull, the next generation of pipelines West of Shetland and the Swansea tidal lagoon. Our tax cuts have encouraged record levels of investment in existing North Sea gas, and the birth of a new industry, shale gas, which could create many thousands of jobs.

——

We will protect hunting, shooting and fishing, for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that these activities bring.

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Protecting and enhancing our natural environment.  Our commitment to you:

We set ourselves the goal of being the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it. This is a big ambition to which we remain committed. We will:

– put in place a new ‘Blue Belt’ to protect precious marine habitats

– invest in cleaner air and water for you and your family

– keep our forests in trust for the nation

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We will build new infrastructure in an environmentally-sensitive way

We will build new roads and railways in a way that limits, as far as possible, their impact on the environment. This includes investing £300 million in cutting light pollution from new roads, doing more tunnelling, building better noise barriers and helping to restore lost habitat. [No mention of building a new runway in an environmentally sensitive way!] 

We will protect the Green Belt, and maintain national protections for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other environmental designations.

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John Stewart tweeted:

Tory Manifesto: “We will respond to the Airport Commission’s final report” No “swift” decision as per Labour. Hint may revisit Estuary idea?


 

More detail from Business Green here http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2403945/tory-manifesto-vows-to-halt-the-spread-of-onshore-windfarms

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See also

What the Labour Manifesto says on runways, climate etc (not a lot …)

Only thing the Labour Party Manifesto says on the airport / runway issue is: “Following the Davies Review, we will make a swift decision on expanding airport capacity in London and the South East, balancing the need for growth and the environmental impact.” On climate it says: “Our country faces global challenges of climate change, terrorism and the spread of disease. In particular, tackling climate change is an economic necessity and the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.” And “We will put climate change at the heart of our foreign policy.” And: “We want an ambitious agreement on climate change at the UNFCCC conference in Paris, in December. We will make the case for ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of the progress towards the below two degree goal.” There are a few more mentions of climate in relation to development, and some vague words giving support to onshore / offshore unconventional oil and gas, etc. …

Click here to view full story…

 

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DfT appoint bankers, Rothschild, to advise government on runway after Airports Commission reports

The DfT has appointed the bankers, Rothschild, to help evaluate Gatwick and Heathrow’s runway plans, after the publication of the Airports Commissions report that is due in June. That implies the Commission will not have ruled one or the other out. Either of the runway plans would rank among Britain’s biggest-ever, and most expensive, infrastructure projects.  Rothschild would provide advice to ministers and officials, and DfT said: “Rothschild was appointed to provide financial advice to assist our understanding of the deliverability of any new runway capacity.”  Labour and the Conservatives have been urged by business lobbying groups to make a swift decision to approve a runway. The reality is that a huge number of issues have not been fully dealt with by the Commission, and a great deal of further work needs to be done, before a runway could properly be considered. The Airports Commission estimated the cost of Heathrow’s NW runway at £18.6bn without factoring in public money for improved road and rail links; cost of Heathrow Hub’s Plan at £13.5bn; Gatwick’s plan at £9.3bn. The Commission estimated that HAH could have to raise additional equity of up to approximately £8.4bn and debt of up to roughly £29.9bn. “Raising this level of financing would be challenging.”  Hence the need for bankers to advise.
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Government banks on advice as runway verdict looms

9.4.2015

(Hounslow Chamber of Commerce)

Bankers have been hired to advise Whitehall on airport expansion ahead of a crucial decision on a new runway.  [At an enormous – unstated – cost to the taxpayer …]

The Department for Transport (DfT) has appointed Rothschild to help evaluate Gatwick and Heathrow’s rival expansion proposals, either of which would rank among Britain’s biggest-ever infrastructure projects.

Sources said on Thursday that Rothschild would provide advice to ministers and officials in the wake of the publication of the final report of The Airports Commission, which is expected during the summer. [Some time in June probably – before 6th July].

Sir Howard Davies, the Commission’s chairman, will recommend the provision of a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow, and Labour and the Conservatives have been urged by business lobbying groups to make a swift decision about implementation.

The timing of Rothschild’s appointment is understood to have pre-dated Whitehall going into ‘purdah’ ahead of next month’s General Election.

A DfT spokeswoman said:  “As part of the Department’s preparation for receiving the Airports Commission’s final report, Rothschild was appointed to provide financial advice to assist our understanding of the deliverability of any new runway capacity.”

In recent months, Gatwick and Heathrow have intensified their battle to win public support for their respective expansion proposals, spending millions of pounds on advertising and public relations campaigns.

The two airports’ owners’ proposals have been shortlisted by the Commission, alongside a separate proposal from a private consortium called Heathrow Hub, which wants to extend the northern runway and then divide it into two in order to expand capacity.

All three options have been assessed by the Airports Commission, with Heathrow Airports Holdings’ (HAH) standalone third runway plan estimated to cost £18.6bn without factoring in public money for improved road and rail links; Heathrow Hub’s Plan has been costed at £13.5bn; Gatwick’s expansion is projected to require an outlay of £9.3bn.

Heathrow’s expansion is, however, regarded as offering the biggest economic benefits in terms of job creation, while Gatwick argues that the noise impact would be far greater at its rival airport.

In a consultation document published last year, the Airports Commission estimated that HAH could have to raise additional equity of up to approximately £8.4bn and debt of up to roughly £29.9bn.

The Commission said: “This will put the airport at the highest end of the range of financing for infrastructure projects in the UK and could make Heathrow Airport Ltd of comparable scale to Network Rail (with a long-term debt of circa £35bn) and larger than National Grid (circa £25bn). Raising this level of financing would be challenging; and there are risks associated with any increase of per passenger aeronautical charges to circa £30, significantly higher than current charges across the UK and globally, in a context where Heathrow must compete with other airport operators.”

The Commission said Gatwick’s proposal could require additional equity of up to £3.7bn and additional debt of up to £14.3 bn.It said that this level of finance was:

” ‘Not unprecedented for infrastructure projects and airports’ but cautioned that it was significantly larger than the company’s financing to date and may be challenging in a context where there is uncertainty around passenger demand forecasts and where the airport may need to raise its aero charges from £9 per passenger to up to c. £15-18 or more within a competitive environment.”

Rothschild is a long-standing adviser to the UK Government, having assisted with the privatisation of part of the state’s shareholding in National Air Traffic Services (NATS), and advising on the future of Royal Mail under the previous Labour administration.

http://www.hounslowchamber.org.uk/govt-banks-on-advice-as-runway-verdict-looms/

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GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) comments:

 

The DfT may know that the Gatwick sums don’t add up.  See the GACC recent press release   Hence the need for advice from bankers.
Moreover the Commission has only looked at the infrastructure cost of the Gatwick runway in 2030 when the runway would be well below full capacity.  The cost of a new underground station at East Croydon etc would raise the cost of the Gatwick option to around £20 billion.
See GACC response at www.gacc.org.uk/the-runway-issue paragraphs 91-96. (copied below).
The DfT will need to be prepared for any questions that the new Ministers may throw at them. 

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Part of GACC’s reponse to the Airports Commission consultation. 1st Feb 2015

Higher Cost

91. The consultation document estimated that the cost of building a new Gatwick runway would be up to £9.3 billion.47 However, the Commission’s new paper – Cost and revenue identification: Gatwick Airport second runway published on 22 January 2015 suggests that the cost could be as high as £10.7 billion.

92. To meet criticism by the Commission, GAL have now agreed to bring forward the construction of the new terminal and rapid transit system. While this change will not increase the total cost, it will increase the difficulty of raising the initial finance for the project. The difficulty of raising finance will be increased by the opposition of almost all the local authorities, by the local Members of Parliament, and by easyJet and British Airways.

93. In this response we have identified various items where we consider that the cost of the Gatwick option has been under-estimated in the consultation document and in the Cost and revenue identification paper. In the table below we give very rough, back-of-an envelope estimates for the cost of these items. We emphasise that these are not precise estimates, merely informed guesses which may serve to demonstrate the order of magnitude by which the cost of the Gatwick runway option should be increased. The first column gives the reference to the relevant paragraph in this response; the second column gives the total cost; the third the amount that should by paid by Gatwick Airport Ltd; and the right hand column the approximate amount that might fall on the UK Exchequer and on the taxpayer.

Additional costs of Gatwick 2nd runway

 

94.The largest item is the cost of a new underground station at East Croydon and new rail tunnel into London, as suggested (in the Commission’s report on surface access) would be needed when Gatwick was operating at full capacity after 2040. We have put this in at £7.5 billion, half the cost of Crossrail. Response from GACC 15

95.To the extent that the extra rail traffic was due to natural growth or to the catalytic or induced employment created by Gatwick expansion, the cost would fall on the Exchequer. To the extent that the traffic resulted from extra air passengers and extra airport staff after 2040, it should in theory be borne by Gatwick Airport Ltd. We accept, however, that it would be difficult to collect this money in advance, and therefore we have allocated the whole cost to be met by the taxpayer.

96.Our rough calculations indicate that the total cost of the Gatwick runway option might be around £20 billion compared to the £9.3 billion suggested in the consultation document. Before the Commission make any recommendation they should revise their estimates of the cost of the Gatwick option on the lines suggested above.

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See also

GACC says Gatwick’s rash promise to cap landing charge at £15 puts its runway plan in doubt

Gatwick airport have made a very rash promise not to raise their landing charges above £15 (plus inflation) for 30 years, if they get a 30 contract from the government (details not specified – see below). Brendon Sewill, of GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)  said: “The whole runway project is in doubt…. Gatwick’s rash promise not to raise airport charges above £15 per head …. seriously puts in question whether building a new runway at Gatwick is a viable business proposal – either for the present owners or for the new owners if Gatwick is sold.” The Airports Commission calculate that Gatwick charges would need to rise to ‘between £15 and £18, with peak charges of up to £23. GACC points out that Gatwick’s promises are meaningless unless they are put into a legal agreement binding on the present airport owners – and future owners. If so, the £15 would become a legal maximum – rather than the current £9. Even at £15, some airlines, and passengers might well decide instead to use much cheaper airports such as Stansted or Luton. GACC has pointed out to the Airports Commission the risk that Gatwick may have fewer passengers than forecast, in which case the cap of £15 may not be sufficient to cover the costs of a new runway and new terminal. Brendon Sewill asks: “What would happen if the money runs out when the new runway is only half built?”

Click here to view full story…

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What the Labour Manifesto says on runways, climate etc (not a lot …)

Only thing the Labour Party Manifesto  says on the airport / runway issue is:

“Following the Davies Review, we will make a swift decision on expanding airport capacity in London and the South East, balancing the need for growth and the
environmental impact.”

On climate it says: “Our country faces global challenges of climate change, terrorism and the spread of disease. In particular, tackling climate change is an economic necessity and the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.” And “We will put climate change at the heart of our foreign policy.”

And: “We want an ambitious agreement on climate change at the UNFCCC conference in Paris, in December. We will make the case for ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of the progress towards the below two degree goal.”

……….. and there are a few more mentions of climate in relation to development etc. …

Also on carbon emissions:

“We will work to make Britain a world leader in low carbon technologies over the next decade, creating a million additional green jobs. This aim will be supported by ambitious domestic carbon reduction targets, including a legal target to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030, and a major drive for energy efficiency. ”

And

“Our industrial strategy for the green economy will end the current uncertainty for investors, with a timetable for the Green Investment Bank to be given additional powers so that it can invest in green businesses and technology. We will create an Energy Security Board to plan and deliver the energy mix we need, including renewables, nuclear, green gas, carbon capture and storage, and clean coal.

“For onshore unconventional oil and gas, we will establish a robust environmental and regulatory regime before extraction can take place. And to safeguard the future of the offshore oil and gas industry, we will provide a long-term strategy for the industry, including more certainty on tax rates and making the most of the potential for carbon storage. ”

http://b.3cdn.net/labouruk/e1d45da42456423b8c_vwm6brbvb.pdf

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Labour pledges ‘swift decision’ on airport expansion

A future Labour government will make a “swift decision” on airport expansion, the party has said.

Outlining the commitment in its 86-page manifesto, Labour said following the Davies Review a quick outcome will help “balance the need for growth and the environmental impact” of expansion in London and the south east.

The manifesto also stated Labour will introduce a small charge on non-visa visitors to the UK, in order to recruit an additional 1,000 borders staff. The party also reiterated its support for the construction of HS2 but there was no mention of Air Passenger Duty.

The British Air Transport Association welcomed the decision on airport expansion and said a “speedy decision will enable substantial progress to be made during the life of the next Parliament”.

“Whichever option is proposed in the Commission’s final report there will be controversy and some disagreement, but the UK cannot afford further delay,” BATA CEO Nathan Stower said.

Stower added that while extra border staff is needed a new charge on non-visa visitors is “not a sensible approach”.

“Visitors from countries like the USA and Australia already pay the highest air passenger tax in the world to visit the UK by air at £71. Adding yet another charge will make the UK more uncompetitive in attracting international tourists, business travellers and inbound investment,” he said.

http://buyingbusinesstravel.com/news/1424043-labour-pledges-%E2%80%98swift-decision%E2%80%99-airport-expansion

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See also

 

What the Conservative manifesto says on runways (nothing), climate etc (not a lot)

The Conservative Party manifesto was launched on 14th April 2015. On runways or airports, its only mention is to say: “We will deliver on our National Infrastructure Plan and respond to the Airports Commission’s final report.” ie. there will be no “swift” decision as per Labour. Does that mean they will revisit the Estuary airport idea, or Stansted? There is little on climate, other than to say (carefully chosen, non-committal wording) that: “We will push for a strong global climate deal later this year – one that keeps the goal of limiting global warming to two-degrees firmly in reach. At home, we will continue to support the UK Climate Change Act.” They say: ” Our tax cuts have encouraged record levels of investment in existing North Sea gas, and the birth of a new industry, shale gas, which could create many thousands of jobs.” They say they will build new infrastructure in an environmentally-sensitive way: “We will build new roads and railways in a way that limits, as far as possible, their impact on the environment.” [But there is no mention of building a new runway in an environmentally sensitive way!] And they “will protect the Green Belt, and maintain national protections for AONBs, National Parks, SSSIs and other environmental designations.”

Click here to view full story…

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Oil finds near Gatwick would only add to transport, housing and infrastructure problems for local residents

An announcement has recently been made by UK Oil and Gas Investments that is has located allegedly ‘world-class potential” oil resources 1 – 2 miles north of Gatwick Airport.  GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, has written to the Airports Commission to point out that this oil at Gatwick is just one more reason to reject the 2nd runway plans. This oil, and nearby deposits across the Weald, would add substantially to the environmental problems caused if it was decided to build a 2nd runway. A 2nd runway when operating at full capacity would create around 60,000 new jobs, an extra 100,000 cars on the roads every day plus freight, an extra 90,000 rail passengers every day on the single railway line, and the need for around 40,000 new houses. Since there is comparatively low unemployment in the area, most of the people taking the new jobs would need to come from other parts of the UK or from the EU.  GACC asks how many more houses would have to be built to accommodate the new oil workers and their families on top of the second runway and natural growth of the population of Surrey and Sussex?  And how many extra vehicles would be added to the roads?
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Oil adds to runway headaches for local residents

13.4. 2015 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GACC wrote today to the Airports Commission to point out that the oil at Gatwick is just one more reason to reject the Gatwick Airport runway plans.

The discovery of huge reserves of oil at Horsehills, one mile north of Gatwick, would – if confirmed across the Weald – add to the environmental problems caused if it was decided to build a second runway.

Research by GACC has shown that a second runway when operating at full capacity would create around 60,000 new jobs, an extra 100,000 cars on the roads every day plus freight, an extra 90,000 rail passengers every day on the single railway line, and the need for around 40,000 new houses. [ see  www.gacc.org.uk/the-runway-issue]

Since there is comparatively low unemployment in the area, most of the people taking the new jobs would need to come from other parts of the UK or from the EU.

GACC asks how many more houses would have to be built to accommodate the new oil workers and their families on top of the second runway and natural growth of the population of Surrey and Sussex?  And how many extra vehicles would be added to the roads?

‘The creation of thousands of new jobs as a result of oil would just make all these problems worse.’ according to Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC.  ‘Runway + oil = Dallas with moussaka.’

The new oil, if it replaces imported oil, could be good news for the local economy as well as the national economy.

Instead,  a new runway would not only make life worse for all who would suffer extra noise and for people under the new flight paths, it would also make Britain and West Sussex poorer :

– because air travel is subsidised by paying no tax on aviation fuel and no VAT; [air passenger duty only makes up a quarter of the revenue lost through no fuel duty and no VAT];

– because the majority of air passengers spend money abroad instead of in the UK;

–  because it would be a waste of money when existing runways are only half full and when larger planes are likely to make any new runway unnecessary; and

– because the climate change damage caused by aircraft will impoverish future generations.’  [Oil would also cause climate change damage – but not if it is substituted for imported oil].

“We will be watching the situation carefully to help ensure no damage is caused to the environment” says Brendon.

http://www.gacc.org.uk

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Map  showing location of Horse Hill, a few kilometres north of Gatwick airport

Horse Hill Gatwick


see also

Gatwick oil find ‘could produce 100bn barrels’

9.4.2015 (Guardian)

by Josh Halliday and Terry Macalister

UK Oil and Gas Investments locates ‘world-class potential resource’ in Sussex, but experts believe fracking is needed to extract commercial quantities of oil

An oil company claimed on Thursday that it had found the equivalent of 100bn barrels of oil close to Gatwick airport, sending the firm’s share price racing in the City and prompting immediate controversy with environmentalists.

The find would have “national significance” and be the largest of its kind in 30 years, according to the small independent explorer, UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG), which is working alongside a larger US firm on the project.

Shares in UKOG jumped more than 200% in frantic trading although veteran analysts dismissed talk of a Sussex oil boom as excessive hype.

Move over JR Ewing: oil discovered near Gatwick airport   Read more
UKOG admitted that while up to 100bn barrels may be in place 3,000ft (900 metres) below the Sussex countryside, only 3-15% of the total would be recovered, based on similar finds in the US.

“We think we’ve found a very significant discovery here, probably the largest [onshore in the UK] in the last 30 years, and we think it has national significance,” Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s chief executive, told the BBC.

Analysts suggest the Horse Hill oilfield – already dubbed by some as Britain’s Dallas – could hold 158m barrels of oil per square mile, a significant increase on reports last year claiming it could hold 20m barrels.

The majority of the oil was discovered when UKOG workers drilled the deepest well in the region. Sanderson said the find would “comprehensively change the understanding of the area’s potential oil resources”.

He added: “Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100bn barrels of oil in place in the ground. We believe we can recover between 5% and 15% of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10% to 30% of the UK’s oil demand from within the Weald area.”

The firm, which is working with Denver-based Magellan Petroleum, told investors more drilling and testing would be required to prove its commercial value – but that the well had “the potential for significant daily oil production”.

Senior analysts said a lot was being made of the find because of its interesting location and the fact that oil was in the public eye because of the drop in prices and the row over fossil fuels.

“Who knows at this stage whether this is a truly big discovery and how much oil is really recoverable. The City loves a frothy story like this,” said one analyst who asked not to be named.

UKOG has claimed it can extract the oil without resorting to the controversial technique of fracking, where chemicals are pumped into the ground to bring out the oil.

Keith Taylor, a Green party MEP for south-east England, said some experts disputed whether chemicals could do this and the discovery raised wider matters of concern.

“This huge oil find is the perfect opportunity for us to have an important national debate about keeping fossil fuels in the ground. The scientific consensus on climate change has never been greater and we have been told that the only way we have a chance of averting catastrophe is by leaving large reserves of oil in the ground.”

Brenda Pollack, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said the prospect of “dirty oil extraction” in southern England would alarm local communities and put fracking firmly on the region’s election agenda.

“Any firm proposing to drill for oil in the region knows it will face huge opposition – as happened at Balcombe, Fernhurst and Wisborough Green. Drilling proposals in Sussex have already been turned down.”

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, said: “Dotting the English countryside with drilling rigs and pipelines to squeeze the last drop of oil out of Britain doesn’t make any sense.

“To gleefully rub your hands at a new fossil fuel discovery you need to turn the clock back to the 19th century and ignore everything we have learned about climate change since. We already have more than enough coal, oil, and gas reserves to fry the planet.”

But Ken Cronin, chief executive of the oil industry lobby group UKOOG, said the public had no reason to be worried and he argued these kinds of finds could play a major role helping the UK’s economic recovery.

“We have been drilling for oil and gas onshore in the UK for over 100 years. There are a number of sites in the south of England that have been producing oil for many years with great care for the environment and with no impact on local communities.”

Prof David Elmes, who researches the oil industry at the Warwick Business School and has worked for BP, said the discovery should be treated with caution. “What we can get out of the ground and whether that is commercially viable to extract are much lower figures.

“How much the local community is affected will also depend on how much can be produced that is economically viable. Small fields can be serviced by tankers but the size suggested here would need a pipeline.

… What’s commercial will also depend on the oil price at the time. Global oil prices have fallen dramatically in recent times with no sense of a strong recovery just yet.”

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/09/west-sussex-oilfield-could-produce-50-to-100m-barrels-of-oil

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Gatwick oil find sparks climate action calls

11.4.2015 (BBC)

Campaigners are gearing up to fight any plans to extract oil in Surrey after an energy firm revealed there could be up to 100 billion barrels of oil under land at Horse Hill, near Gatwick.

Frack Free Surrey has already held a protest camp there and said it would welcome further action at Horse Hill.

Friends of the Earth (FOE) said any drilling would face huge opposition, as seen at Balcombe in West Sussex.

Exploration firm UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) has not commented.

UKOG has already said it does not intend to use fracking – hydraulic fracturing – because rocks at Horse Hill are naturally fractured and could be conventionally drilled.

But Rob Basto, from Frack Free Surrey, people living nearby were not likely to believe this.

He said up to 80 people protested at Horse Hill last year, and up to a dozen people maintained a constant presence at the site for three months during test drilling.

People in the area were apprehensive of another Balcombe-style climate campwhich saw about 1,000 people join a six-day protest, but campaigners would welcome a camp “to make it clear we are not just going to take things sitting down”, he added.

FOE campaigner Brenda Pollack said residents were already asking questions, and the Balcombe protests began with ordinary villagers asking questions.

She said tiny Sussex villages, such as Fernhurst and Wisborough Green, had been rising up for some time, and drilling proposals had been turned down.

On Thursday, UKOG said drilling at Horse Hill had discovered 158 million barrels per square mile, and the site had the potential for “significant daily oil production” – but only 3% to 15% of the total could be recovered.

The company said further drilling and well testing would be needed to prove the initial results.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32254795

 

Map showing the latest oil find in southern England

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Later news:

UK Oil and Gas clarifies wild claims on shale oil reserves in Sussex

April 15, 2015  (Friends of the Earth)

Reacting to today’s statement from oil firm UKOG about last week’s
“discovery” [1] of oil reserves near Gatwick, Brenda Pollack, Friends of
the Earth’s South East Campaigner said:

“UKOG has backtracked on the wild claims it made last week and admitted
that it has no idea how much oil is under the Sussex Weald.

“This is yet another example of the potential for shale oil and gas being
overhyped by an industry desperate to starting pumping profits with little
concern for residents or the climate.

“We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground and invest in the real
alternative of renewables and cutting energy waste if we are serious about
avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1) UKOG’s claims last week [2] that it had found a potential 100 billion
barrels of oil in the Weald.
2) UKOG’s revised statement [3] clarifying that it has doesn’t actually
know how much oil there is.

http://www.foe.co.uk

[1]http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/oil-find-southern-england-raises-fracking-concerns_09042015
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32229203
[3]http://www.investegate.co.uk/uk-oil—38–gas-inv-plc–ukog-/rns/clarification-of-press-comment/201504150700252568K/
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/uk-oil-gas-clarifies-wild-claims-shale-oil-reserves-sussex_15042015

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Gatwick rushes to offer money – if it gets a 2nd runway – to support and incentivise new domestic air services

After Heathrow got itself some good publicity in its runway campaign, by saying it would spend £10 million to set up some new regional routes, Gatwick has been panicked into doing the same. It appears to have had to rush out a paper, stating it will spend £20 million over 10 years to strengthen domestic air services.  Only if it gets a second runway. The paper setting out its plan contains little text, and gives no references or sources for the figures it uses.  Gatwick says it already serves 11 destinations within the UK compared with 7 at Heathrow.  Gatwick says its plans for a 2nd runway will “encourage the growth of regional airports and the development of international services outside London and the South East” though it does not explain how.  It probably means that if there are more long haul flights from an expanded Heathrow, there would be less market demand for these flights from regional airports, and they would thus suffer (which is true).  Following what Heathrow has already offered, Gatwick says it will consult on reducing landing charges for regional flights.  If Gatwick wasn’t so busy lobbying around Heathrow, and with negative campaigning about Heathrow, it might have thought of some of these ideas for itself, rather than just being a pastiche of Heathrow.

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Gatwick to launch £20 million fund to support and incentivise new domestic and regional air services

10/04/2015

  • £20 million fund among a raft of measures to strengthen domestic air services
  • Gatwick already provides better connectivity to the regions and nations
  • Expansion at Gatwick supports the growth of domestic services and airports

Gatwick Airport will establish a £20 million fund to support new air services to Gatwick from around the UK in the ten years following the opening of a second runway.

Gatwick already serves 11 destinations within the UK compared with seven at Heathrow. This initiative is designed to ensure that the benefits of a second runway also extends to further improving connectivity between the regions and nations and London. Gatwick’s plans for a second runway will also encourage the growth of regional airports and the development of international services outside London and the South East.

Gatwick’s plans aims to strengthen the whole of the UK’s network of airports whereas Heathrow’s plans aim to concentrate international traffic through Heathrow itself, restricting the growth of airports outside the capital.

The fund can be used to incentivise airlines to introduce new services. The fund can also be used to provide jointly-agreed marketing support to regional development or other tourism bodies in regional England or Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for new services. Along with the fund, Gatwick will also:

  • Propose and consult on changes to charges to support the growth of national and regional air services and encourage easier connection between airlines
  • Support funding applications for new Public Sector Obligation services, and
  • Work with Government to explore how to safeguard slots for new national and regional services.

Launching the fund at a presentation to Prospective Parliamentary Candidates at the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce today, Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:

“Gatwick has always been serious about encouraging the growth and development of a strong network of competing airports around the UK. This fund – and the measures we propose to support it – will improve connectivity to London for those that need it. 

“Gatwick expansion is best for the UK and regions because it supports not only the growth of connectivity to London, but also more connectivity between all UK airports and international short and long haul destinations. 

“Expanding Gatwick will provide more competition and choice for passengers all around the UK.

An independent report issued recently by the OECD found that the increased prices an expanded Heathrow would charge, would discourage more flights to other UK airports. The report also said a bigger Heathrow would also ‘diminish’ the chance of new long haul services flying directly out of other UK airports.

Gatwick is not only already better connected to the regions than Heathrow, it is also far cheaper for airlines and passengers. Heathrow already has the highest airport charges in the world – in addition to landing and parking charges, Heathrow charges £29.59 per domestic departing passenger compared to Gatwick’s charge of £10.52 per domestic departing passenger.  [Heathrow will cut its charge for domestic passengers to £19.59  from 1.1.2016.  See details ]

 

Ends

 

For more information on why Gatwick is best for regional growth and connectivity, see its regional proposal in full here.

 

Gatwick claims  its expansion:  

  • is affordable, sustainable and deliverable (unlike Heathrow’s proposal)
  • will help deliver lower fares through lower airport charges and greater competition
  • offers a more convenient choice of London airports for passengers, and
  • will help sustain and encourage more services direct from other national and regional airports

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/press-releases/2015/2015-04-10-regional-fund.aspx

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See also:

Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

Saad Hammad, the chief executive of Flybe, has criticised Gatwick for failing to address the needs of Britain’s regions, in its attempt to win support for its second runway. The head of the UK’s biggest regional airline said that Heathrow had been “more specific about what they are going to do” on take-off and landing slots and on charges for domestic flights and “I don’t think Gatwick has been as sensitive as we would like…. Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements.” Heathrow has said it would look at cutting charges for regional flights as part of a regular review of fees, though no binding commitment has been made. These cuts are largely to deter passengers flying via Schiphol or other European hubs, rather than concern for the regional airports. Flybe has no flights into Heathrow and only one from Gatwick to Newquay. It sold 25 pairs of slots to easyJet in 2013. A spokesman for Gatwick said that it had the “best” regional links of any London airport and would remain significantly cheaper than Heathrow, even if Heathrow reduced their domestic fees. Gatwick said it is planning to give details of its proposals on fees further later this month. It has claimed its landing charges would not rise above £15 per passenger, but only it gets a 2nd runway and Government agrees a contract not to allow any other runway in the south east for 30 years ….

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from Ist Jan 2016 – to reduce number flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59.  They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral.  The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead.  The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges.  Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes,including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

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

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

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Liverpool airport says ‘we will talk to anyone’ as Gatwick announces £20 million fund and Heathrow announces £10 million…

Liverpool John Lennon Airport says it would be happy to speak to Gatwick Airport about regional routes, after Gatwick put out a press release to say (copying Heathrow’s earlier offer) it would spend up to £20 million to help support regional air routes. Gatwick and Heathrow offers only apply if that airport got a new runway, not otherwise. Liverpool Airport has already been in talks with Heathrow about the possibility of getting a link there (if there is a new runway) – as Heathrow is keen not to lose connecting flights, if people in the regions prefer to fly via Schiphol. However, Gatwick’s offer would have far less appeal than Heathrow’s to Liverpool Airport because it does not offer a connection to a hub, for long haul flights. A spokesman for Liverpool airport said: “We are always open to suggestions for new routes and we are happy to speak to anyone.” Heathrow says it is offering a £10 million fund to support regional routes, to five airports over 3 years. Those named are Liverpool, Newquay and Humberside. On 31st March Liverpool announced that Flybe would operate a service up to 3-times-a-day to Schiphol starting on September 7th. ie. They would not then need links to Gatwick or to Heathrow.

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In Gatwick’s little report (not a lot of content, lots of pretty pictures …) it states:

“It is estimated that airport charges alone at an expanded Heathrow will rise to over £80 for a return trip compared to £30 at Gatwick after expansion.”  [This is very different to the assessment by the Commission, of up about  maximum of £58 for Heathrow and £46 for Gatwick]. See below
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But the Airports Commission said – about the Gatwick runway:“3.41Investment of this scale would entail increases in the airport’s charges to airlines. Gatwick Airport Ltd has estimated, for example, that per passenger charges would rise from £9 currently to £12-15 as a result of expansion. This is lower than the charges predicted by the Commission’s analysis, which indicate average charges rising to between £15 and £18, with peak charges of up to £23.”Gatwick Airport second runway: business case and sustainability assessment
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/373211/evidence-base-gatwick-airport-second-runway.pdf
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and

On the Heathrow north-west runway, the Commission said:

“The resulting impact to passenger aeronautical charges across the Commission’s four demand scenarios for Heathrow is an increase from c. £20 per passenger to an average of c. £27-29 per passenger”…

Heathrow Airport Extended Northern Runway: Business Case and Sustainability Assessment
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374663/evidence-base-heathrow-airport-extended-northern-runway.pdf

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Forests and lakes destroyed to build Istanbul’s vast 3rd airport aerotropolis covering 76 square kilometers of land

Istanbul is building a third airport, north of the city close to the Terkos lake area.  Istanbul already has Atatürk Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen airport on the Asian side (these handle around 45 million and 15 million passengers respectively per year), but both claim to be struggling with increased demand – being well located as a hub between Europe, the Middle East and the East.  Their national airline, Turkish Airlines, is growing fast. The site for the 3rd airport, which is to be an Aerotropolis, not merely an airport, is about 76 square kilometres. The third airport is linked with other forest destroying megaprojects – a third bridge over the Bosphorus, a motorway and a canal linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. All three are linked and feed into each other.  The vast construction works destroy areas of forest, lakes and ponds – causing serious local concern about biodiversity loss, loss of natural habitat and possible future heat island and water supply problems.  Turkey wants another vast airport, perhaps able to take up to 150 million passengers per year, partly to boost its chances of getting the Olympics in 2024. The busiest airport in the world now, Atlanta, handles about 95 million passengers per year.  A short video shows the ongoing environmental destruction, during the building of the airport. https://vimeo.com/123657571
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Forests and lakes destroyed for Istanbul’s 3rd airport

 

Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ (the ‘North Forest Defence’) which campaigns to protect the forests to the north of Istanbul, has made an English language version of a shocking video. (Vimeo  3 mins 20 secs)

It documents the destruction of forests for the city’s third airport. Its ecocide: piles of felled trees; a long line of earth moving trucks nose to tail along the highway; bulldozers gouging away at the earth; forests, lakes and meadows destroyed. A sheep farmer explains that there is nowhere for him to tend his animals once the construction site is fenced off and fears dreadful consequences of the loss of the forest, it attracts rainfall that the city depends upon.

The forest protectors want the world to know what is happening here. People sharing this video in English on social media are urged to use the hashtag #‎ResistAgainstInstanbul3rdAirport‬

The third airport is linked with other forest destroying megaprojects – a third bridge over the Bosphorus, a motorway and a canal linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.

On 26th March Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ held a press conference during which architect Mücella Yapıcı warned of irreversible ecological damage from the airport and other megaprojects, and announced that several business chambers, including the Chamber of Architects and the Chamber of Engineers, have united to open a court case relating to two Environmental Impact Reports. Both reports, prepared for investors, emphasised serious ecological destruction, with Yapıcı stating ‘This is the massacre of Istanbul. We cannot just sit here silently and allow this’.

At the press conference, Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ presented its latest report. Entitled Life, Nature, Environment, Humanity and the Law against the Third Airport Project (article in Turkish – but a Google translation gives a workable understanding of what it is saying !)  it explains that the megaprojects – the bridge, highway, canal and airport – are interconnected and designed to feed each others’ growth.

The report also reveals that the new airport is not just an airport; it is a plan for an aerotropolis (a city built around an airport), on a site of over 76 square kilometres.

Even if the new airport reaches its stated goal of 150 million passengers per year (which would make it the world’s busiest airport), the land area far exceeds that which would be required for aeronautical operations. Currently, Atlanta Airport in the US is the world’s busiest passenger airport, handling 95 million passengers per year, covering a site of 16.25 square kilometres.

The aerotropolis plan is designed to trigger development on land surrounding it including business, cultural and sports complexes, sprawling over the last remaining pristine natural areas of the area.

Negative environmental impacts from felling of forests include loss of climate regulation through oxygen production and carbon sequestration. There are serious concerns over the concreting over of lakes which is a threat to Istanbul’s water supply and the loss of habitat hosting an abundance of wildlife such as wolves, insects and at least 160 species of birds.

http://antiaero.org/2015/04/01/forests-and-lakes-destroyed-for-istanbuls-3rd-airport-2/

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Some extracts (very imperfect translation into English – apologies…. ) from the Turkish article at  http://www.radikal.com.tr/cevre/istanbul_aerotropolis_oluyor-1321969

Airport not Aerotropolis

26.3.2015
North Forest Defense resistance … has prepared a report on the planned 3rd airport.
…..According to the report, the airport project is actually a city complex. Therefore, Istanbul, aero (air) and Tropolis (metropolis-metropolitan) consisting of words and the way to becoming a new concept Aerotropolis.
…. It Is not only the airport under the project, the EIA report ‘Airport City Complex’ under the title, business center, the congress and cultural centers and sports complexes are mentioned ….
… Istanbul ‘s north airport is an attraction for the construction industry …. and  ‘is designed to trigger a variety of development projects around creating project. This project, a management wheel of the economy tied to the construction industry, the last remaining pristine areas of Istanbul opening to plunder ………….”
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The report noted the following:
* the 3rd airport project is a package of 3 things, with an Istanbul bridge and Canal  project. Each of these projects is planned to feed the other.. The 3rd airport’s positioning in this region and the North Marmara Motorway brought into the center of attraction of the route passing through the channel.
….. 90% of the wetlands and forests and this particular area will be covered by airport concrete building.
….  90% percent of lakes and forests of this special region will be covered in concrete and contribute to an urban heat island.
…. The World is entering era of thirst, and Istanbul will lose its water resources.
… The benefits of forests (wood production, water production, climate regulation, carbon sequestration and oxygen production, reduce air pollution, habitat of living and so on) would decrease.
….. This is not a land where other natural habitat is being developed. There is much biodiversity in the forest and the lakes and ponds that are being destroyed.
….. This project will increase the drought and water shortage in the opposite direction to one side to take measures against drought and thirst, and are projects that will accelerate.
…. the authorities say there are 17 species of birds in the region, but other ornithologists say there are 160 species or even 200 bird species.
…. there are issues about the direction the planes will land, into the wind.
….. Due to increasing foreign debt interest and exchange rates, €22 billion to €152 million have been ??? received by the consortium for the 3rd airport. The cost of the airport’s only the first nine months increased by $12.9 billion.
….. the new Aerotropolis planned will be a new city, to rival Istanbul, not merely an airport.
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Construction of Istanbul’s third airport continues at full throttle despite concerns

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency

The new airport is expected to host 150 million passengers each year. AA Photo

The new airport is expected to host 150 million passengers each year. AA Photo

Construction of Istanbul’s third airport continues at full throttle despite concerns

9.11.2014  (Turkish Daily News)

Construction of Istanbul’s third airport is continuing, in a bid to establish in Turkey’s largest city what the government hopes will be the most important center of world air traffic.

The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, is continuing ground works with the grant holder of the site Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA). Company officials say the operations are ongoing on 76.5 square kilometers of land.

The controversial facility, promoted by the government to showcase development, will become not only Istanbul’s largest airport but also one of the world’s major hubs. Its construction in one of the city’s most precious natural areas, however, has drawn criticism from activists denouncing a culture of plunder and destruction.

There are currently two different lawsuits opened by the Chamber of Environmental Engineers against the contracting of the airport construction, but there has been no development in the cases in the last two years. The Northern Forest Defense, an environmental group that has long been advocating against the third airport and bridge, has launched an online campaign under the hashtag “Resist the third airport.”

With local and foreign experts overseeing the work, a total of 780 geological surveys have been conducted since the beginning of works in March 2014, along with 1,020 soil sample tests and 9,000 Cone Penetrometer Tests (CPT), according to the project’s geotechnical reports.

The Turkish Aviation Organization and Administration, which is under the authority of the General Directorate of State Airports, is following the coordination and management of the project’s progress. The airport is planned to be opened in 2017.

November/09/2014

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/construction-of-istanbuls-third-airport-continues-at-full-throttle-despite-concerns.aspx?pageID=238&nID=74079&NewsCatID=340


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See earlier:

Turkey plans to build a 6-runway mega airport near Istanbul to be one of the world’s largest

Turkey is planning to build one of the world’s biggest airports, and one larger than anything in Europe, costing some $5bn.  It wants to make Istanbul a global hub and boost its chances of getting the Olympics in 2020. Turkey is well situated geographically for traffic between the USA and Europe, and the Far East. It is therefore in competition with other Middle East and Gulf countries, which are also building mega-sized airports, such as Dubai and Doha (capital of Qatar). A tender will be held in may for the Turkish airport.  This would be the third airport for Istanbul, which already has Ataturk airport, and Sabiha airport – which handle around 45 million and 15 million passengers respectively per year. The new airport will be near the Black Sea, and is anticipated to be able to cope with 150 million passengers per year. By contrast, Heathrow deals with some 69 million, and Atlanta – the world’s busiest airport – handles some 90 million per year. The plans are for the new 6 runway airport to be open by 2017.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/01/manchester-ditch-c-charge-sell-airport/

 


 

 

31.10.2012

Third Istanbul airport to be formed in northwest

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

Istanbul’s third airport will likely be built in the Terkos Lake area, Mayor Kadir Topbaş has said.

“Following the advice of our prime minister, we are starting the construction of a new Istanbul airport with five or six runways and a passenger capacity of 100 million in the short term, which will be increased to 150 million,” Topbaş said, adding that Atatürk Airport’s current capacity was 34 million passengers.

Topbaş said the Terkos Lake area, 50 kilometers north of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast, was a very strong possibility for the airport’s location.

Topbaş said Atatürk Airport was insufficient to handle the city’s air traffic, particularly in regards to strong southwestern winds.

A third airport in Istanbul, the largest city in the country, has long been on the agenda as Atatürk Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen airport on the Asian side are struggling to meet the city’s rising demands, particularly as national flag carrier Turkish Airlines boosts its flights and the city attracts more visitors.Topbaş said the airport would be built on a deserted site to preserve the area’s natural, forested environment, adding that a proposal for the project would likely be initiated by the end of the year.

Topbaş also said the construction of a third bridge to span the Bosphorus in Istanbul would be completed by 2015 or 2016.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/third-istanbul-airport-to-be-formed-in-northwest.aspx?pageID=238&nID=33620&NewsCatID=341

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/third-istanbul-airport-to-be-formed-in-northwest.aspx?pageID=238&nID=33620&NewsCatID=341 
The recent announcement of a series of huge infrastructural projects to be parachuted onto the northern area of Istanbul – a third airport, a new city for millions on the coast of the Black Sea, a new canal to mitigate the pressure on The Bosporus, and a new highway connecting all these projects to Europe and Asia, which will cross the Bosporus over a new, third bridge – raises questions about the soundness of the city’s sustainability policy. Unless ecological interests will be integrated into the new plans, natural resources, especially sweet water supplies, will come under serious threat.
http://iabr.nl/en/nieuws/istanbul-op-tweesprong

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