That is the plea being made by young climate activists who are calling on Leeds City Council to reject plans for a new airport terminal.
Leeds Bradford Airport is seeking permission to create a new, £150 million building to replace its current terminal which dates back to the 1960s.
The airport (LBA) says the development would result in ‘one of the most sustainable airport buildings in the UK’.
Environmental campaigners, however, are adamant that LBA’s growth plan – the new terminal will enable it to welcome seven million passengers a year by 2030 – flies in the face of attempts to tackle global warming.
It says: “You told us you were ready to act on our calls for change. We believe you meant this, but now is the time to prove it – Leeds City Council must reject Leeds Bradford Airport’s dangerous expansion plans.”
It goes on to claim that the airport’s expansion would make it ‘impossible’ for Leeds City Council to keep its promise to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.
It also says that the resulting increase in flights, should the terminal proposals proceed, will mean more noise – and points out that there are ‘36 schools under the flight-path’.
Leeds climate striker Annwen Thurlow said: “Our house is already on fire – we cannot let this expansion add more fuel. The council has a responsibility to protect our health and wellbeing.
“That means they must ‘measure what matters’ and recognise that the health of people and the planet are worth far more than the profit of polluters.
“Are they determined to meet their bold and inspiring commitments on the climate emergency? Or will they pass the buck on emissions and allow this to go ahead? Young people in Leeds and across the world are relying on them. So we say to them – please don’t let us down.”
Leeds YS4C activist Robbie Strathdee added: “The flight-path cuts right across the city, so expansion would do damage to some of Leeds’ most disadvantaged communities. “We can make Leeds fairer and greener, bringing hope out of heart-break to ‘Build Back Better’ following the COVID-19 crisis. A green recovery for Leeds could look like whatever we want and need as a city – but it cannot look like an expanded airport.”
The full letter can be read at https://www.change.org/LeedsYS4C-AnOpenLetter.
LBA disputes claims that there would be an increase in flight noise if its plan is approved, due to modern aircraft becoming ‘significantly quieter’.
The airport’s CEO, Hywel Rees, has also insisted that the new terminal is necessary ‘to bring LBA into the modern era’ and would help ‘kick start the Yorkshire economy and…provide long term, high-value, knowledge-based jobs in the future’.
Leeds Bradford Airport: Scientists object to expansion plans which will increase CO2 emissions (locking in climate change, unfair to future generations)
A group of five climate scientists have objected to Leeds Bradford airport’s expansion plans as they make it “impossible” for Leeds to meet its greenhouse gas emissions target. The airport wants to build a new terminal, but this would mean more flights and more passengers, and so more carbon emissions. The scientists said the expanded airport’s greenhouse gas emissions would be higher than the emissions allowed for the whole of Leeds in 10 years’ time. The airport could cause the emission of 1,227 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, compared to 1,020 kilotonnes allowed for the whole of Leeds in 2030. One of those objecting is Prof Julia Steinberger, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which advises the United Nations. The IPCC has warned that restricting global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels will require “rapid and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. The scientists say expansion would just represent “business as usual” and lock in higher CO2 emissions. If similar developments were replicated around the world, it would lock us into catastrophic climate change, which highlights that the proposed development is not only highly harmful but also unfair.”