Saturday, March 27, 2010

High Court Ruling throws expansion plans at London City airport into question

Greenpeace press release:

PLANS to expand London City airport were thrown into serious doubt today when a High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation policy didn’t fully take into account the effects of climate change.

In a damning ruling handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice today, Lord Justice Carnwath said that the Government’s 2003 Aviation White Paper – the basis for expansion at Heathrow airport and dozens of other airports around the country, including London City – needs to be re-thought in the light of climate change and the UK’s climate change laws. This effectively means that the white paper must now be radically over-hauled so that it is in line with the Climate Change Act 2008.

Climate Campaigner Anna Jones said “Today’s ruling exposes a Government airport expansion policy that is out of control. This country needs a better railway system not new runways. The Government cannot continue to ignore the impact of aviation on climate change. They should shelve all airport expansion plans now; every increase in capacity makes our problems worse.”

The judgement was delivered in response to a Judicial Review brought by Greenpeace and 12 other groups, including local councils, residents groups and other leading green groups. They argued that the consultation process which led to the decision to allow a 3rd runway at Heathrow to be built was fundamentally flawed and that the decision to expand Heathrow is at odds with the UK’s overall climate change targets.

The Climate Change Committee – an independent watchdog created by the act – recently advised the Government that around half of the planned airport expansion in the UK would have to be scrapped if the Government’s own aviation emissions target is to be met and that therefore it needed to review its 2003 aviation expansion policy.

For more info contact the Greenpeace press office on 0207 865 8255