Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, has responded to the 'expansion by stealth' plans to use Gatwick airport's emergency runway for extra capacity.
Commenting on the latest development, the senior Green politician and member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee said:
"That Gatwick's plan for expansion is by the back door makes it as deceitful as it is reckless. The planet cannot afford airport expansion. Residents cannot afford to have their lives even further impacted by the air and noise pollution generated by the airport's greed."
"Just last week climate scientists from across the world came together to highlight the need for urgent and radical action to avoid the very worst effects of a climate breakdown that is already in process. Airport expansion quite literally flies in the face of the government's claim that it is committed to protecting our planet and our environment."
"Aviation is a top ten global polluter and emissions from the heavily subsidised industry are set to balloon by 300% if action is not taken sooner rather than later. Not accounting for any airport expansion, emissions from aviation are already expected to use up more than two-thirds of the UK's carbon budget by 2050. At the same time, the 'Clean' Growth Strategy the government is promoting this week will already see the UK miss its legally-binding climate targets."
"As Greens, we support a fairer frequent flyer levy that would help reduce demand driven by the privileged few and reduce costs for the average UK holidaymaker."