Groups opposing the planned expansions of eight different airports across the UK have written to the government to state that the plans are incompatible with its legally binding climate targets, according to The Guardian.
Expansions are intended for Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Luton, Heathrow, Manston, Southampton and Stansted airports, with plans also expected for Gatwick.
However, in April, the government bumped up its carbon emissions target from a 68% reduction to a 78% reduction by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, putting the target into law and including aviation and shipping.
“Until the government has consulted on its preferred strategy for net zero aviation, and published its policy, it is impossible to see how local authorities or the government could justify any given airport expansion as conforming to binding carbon budgets and targets,” the campaigners’ letter said.
In related news, the UK’s supreme court recently ruled that the highly controversial planned third runway at Heathrow was legal, overturning a decision made by the court of appeal which found that expansion plans did not take into account the UK’s commitments under the 2015 Paris climate accord. A lawyer and environmental campaigner was found in contempt of court for leaking the ruling before its official announcement.
Header image: Sebastian Grochowicz