Extinction Rebellion to protest in Leeds against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans
Socially-distant protesters plan to gather in Millennium Square on August 29 in support of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA). GALBA will be cycling a route around Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield to highlight areas which may be affected by aircraft noise pollution if the airport’s expansion plans are approved. Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) submitted plans to build a new “state of the art” £150million terminal in early 2020. It would be closer to a proposed parkway rail station, announced by Leeds City Council last year. The terminal would accommodate seven million passengers per year by 2030. Extinction Rebellion (XR) has held several protests this year against the expansion plans, both outside Leeds City Council’s Civic Hall headquarters and outside a public consultation meeting held at the Mercure Parkway Hotel. XR says the proposed expansion, yet to be approved by the council, will increase carbon emissions – fuelling climate change. One activist said: “I will be able to look my daughter in her eyes and tell her I tried to put an end to this madness, that we knew there was a better way to live and I fought for it with everything I had.”
Extinction Rebellion to protest in Millennium Square against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans
By Rebecca Marano
Thursday, 27th August 2020, (Yorkshire Post)
Socially-distant protesters will gather in Millennium Square on Saturday, August 29 from 3pm to 5pm in support of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA).
GALBA will be cycling a route around Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield to highlight areas which may be affected by sound pollution if the expansion plans are approved.
LBA submitted plans to build a new £150million terminal in early 2020.
In the plans, they claimed that the ‘state of the art’ terminal would include three main floors with improved vehicle access.
It would also be closer to a proposed parkway rail station, announced by Leeds City Council last year.
The terminal would accommodate seven million passengers per year by 2030.
Extinction Rebellion has held several protests this year against the expansion plans, both outside Leeds City Council’s Civic Hall headquarters and outside a public consultation meeting held at the Mercure Parkway Hotel.
The group claims the proposed expansion, yet to be approved by council planning chiefs, will add to climate change due to the increased number of flights likely to take place.
An Extinction Rebellion Families Leeds spokeswoman said: “It breaks my heart to see that businesses, corporations and individuals are still putting profit before the health and wellbeing of humans and all life on this planet.
“When we are facing the worst crises ever imagined – heat waves, floods, droughts and famine; when the world has been struck to stillness by a novel pandemic; when there are hundreds of thousands of people already suffering and dying due to man-made climate related problems; when will it finally be enough?
“I will be able to look my daughter in her eyes and tell her I tried to put an end to this madness, that we knew there was a better way to live and I fought for it with everything I had.
“I hope that more people realise that if we join together for the same cause we will have the power to change before we destroy ourselves completely.”
In July, young climate change activists sent an open letter pleading with Leeds City Council not to approve the plans.
In an open letter sent to senior council decision-makers, Leeds YouthStrike4Climate claimed the plans, which could see the number of flights at the facility increase, could disproportionately affect both disadvantaged areas and schoolchildren.
A statement from the climate strikers said: “There are 36 schools under the flight-path and more noise from increased flights would risk further disrupting pupils’ education following the Covid-19 crisis.”
Campaigner Annwen Thurlow added: “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.”
Leeds YS4C activist Robbie Strathdee said: “The flight-path cuts right across the city, so expansion would do damage to some of Leeds’ most disadvantaged communities.
“The climate crisis is intrinsically an issue of racial and social justice, with disadvantaged communities already suffering its impacts most severely in Leeds and beyond. We mustn’t heap injustice upon injustice through expansion.
“A green recovery for Leeds could look like whatever we want and need as a city – but it cannot look like an expanded airport.”
A response to the statement on behalf of LBA stated while it understood the concerns expressed by Leeds YouthStrike4Climate, the development would in fact create an ‘economic boost to our region’, as well as hundreds of construction jobs, from right across Leeds, Bradford and Yorkshire.
It added any approval of the LBA application would not impact upon Leeds City Council’s ability to meet its climate emergency commitments, adding the aviation industry has made its own commitment to become net zero by 2050.
-> Opposition to Leeds Bradford Airport expansion grows as 90 Leeds academics and third MP object to plans
A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford Airport said: “We value feedback from our communities on our proposals for a replacement terminal.
“While we can appreciate that people will be concerned about noise and emissions, we have made very clear provisions in our proposals around how we will mitigate risk and we encourage individuals to review the reports from leading experts on the portal.
“We also continue to work with the wider aviation industry on our own sustainable targets, which are regulated at an international level and are not part of Leeds City Council’s climate emergency commitments.”
The airport also claimed it had reduced its emissions by 45 percent in the last five years, and expected to see an increase in aircraft arrivals and departures from 30,000 to 46,000 per annum as part of the proposal.
Young climate activists urge council to reject Leeds Bradford Airport development – “Don’t let us down”
‘DON’T let us down’ was 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. Environmental campaigners say the terminal flies in the face of attempts to tackle global heating. Leeds YouthStrike4Climate (Leeds YS4C) have sent an open letter to the city council’s leaders which reminds them that they declared a Climate Emergency in March, 2019. The expansion plans would make it ‘impossible’ for Leeds City Council to keep its promise to make the city carbon neutral by 2030. There will also be a lot more plane noise pollution. 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, of people and planet. Young people in Leeds and across the world are relying on them. “So we say to them – please don’t let us down.”
Leeds Bradford Airport: Scientists object to expansion plans which will increase CO2 emissions
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.”
Natural England says Leeds Bradford Airport expansion should not be approved – necessary details have not been provided
The government’s environment adviser, Natural England, says Leeds City Council should not approve controversial plans for the Leeds Bradford Airport expansion, unless further evidence on the potential impacts is provided. Natural England states the airport’s planning application lacks detail and “there is currently not enough information to rule out the likelihood of significant effects” on the environment. It has asked the airport to provide additional information, so the council can asses the impact the new £150 million terminal would have on air quality, local wildlife and protected landscapes. Natural England therefore advises Leeds City Council that it should not grant planning permission at this stage. The airport wants to increase passengers numbers from 4 million to 7 million a year. Climate scientists, environmentalists, The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) and four Leeds MPs are also calling on the council to reject the new plans. GALBA, said the airport has not bothered to assess the damage that their expansion plans would do to wildlife and nature.