Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stop Heathrow Expansion - Take Action

Support our Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign. Last week the government launched its consultation into plans for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow. Already the busiest airport in Europe, the plan would mean a 70 per cent increase in flight numbers and a corresponding rise in climate change pollution. It's crazy to be paving the way for such big increases in greenhouse gases when we should be doing all we can to reduce emissions.

What's particularly shortsighted about this proposal is that a third runway at Heathrow really isn't
needed. Well over a fifth of flights from Heathrow are to short-haul destinations such as Edinburgh,
Paris, Manchester and Newcastle - already well served by trains which cause ten times less damage to
the climate than flying. The real reason BAA wants a third runway is to increase its profits.
Given Gordon Brown's widely publicised speech last week about his determination to take climate change
seriously, it's hard to see how he can possibly justify a third Heathrow runway. Yet the indications
are that the government has been planning for some time to do exactly that.

Documents recently obtained by Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act
( show that airports operator BAA and the Department
for Transport have been working closely together to ensure that the third runway gets built - so
closely that they've even set up a joint body - the Heathrow Delivery Group - to steer the plan
through the consultation process. All the calculations relating to noise and pollution in the
consultation document have been supplied by BAA - data no opposition groups have been allowed to

One further piece of evidence about where the government's sympathies really lie - the DfT and BAA
have drawn up a 'risk list' of threats to the building of the third runway. The list includes the 2M
campaign, the group comprising local London councils representing 2 million people opposed to the

Flying is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, responsible for 13 per
cent of our climate inpact. Unless we bring it under control we'll stand no chance of meeting the
ambitious CO2 reduction targets that the PM only last week pledged to reach, or even exceed. And
Heathrow is only one of more than 20 airports around the country in the process of submitting
expansion plans. The Tyndall climate research centre has calculated that if aviation continues to
expand as projected, Britain will have to totally decarbonise the rest of its economy by 2050 to
effectively tackle climate change. And we all know that just isn't going to happen.

What you can do

Let Gordon Brown know that he's a public servant and that we expect him to act in our interests, not
help big business maximise its profits. There are two ways you can do this - send him a video message
or write him a letter. In fact, to ram the point home why not do both? It shouldn't take you more than
a few minutes.
* Join the thousands who want to stop Heathrow expansion by adding your comments to our video
wall. Make your voice heard!

* Write to Gordon Brown and tell him that minimising the effects of climate change is more
important than increasing British Airways' profits!

* Watch last week's Newsnight debate about Heathrow between Greenpeace's John Sauven and energy
minister Malcolm Wickes.

You can find out more about the Heathrow campaign at
As always, thanks for your support! Joss Cope 27 November 2007