Green Party MEP and member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee has slammed Heathrow' 'fundamentally flawed' expansion plans in a submission to the airport's Heathrow Airspace and Future Operations consultation which closes at 2359 on Monday, 4th March.
In his submission, Mr Taylor says:
"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 Government’s 'Clean' Growth Strategy will already see the UK miss its legally-binding climate targets. There is simply no way that expansion will not have a material impact on UK carbon reduction targets. It cannot be allowed to take place.
The consultation states that ‘Heathrow must ‘strive to meet’ its pledge to ensure that airport related traffic is no greater than today – although this is not expressed in the Airports NPS as an absolute limit.’ This is yet another example of vague language which could simply be left open for interpretation. What does ‘strive to meet’ mean? What measures will be taken to ensure that this is the case? What are the implications of not meeting the pledge? These considerations need much clearer explanation and more detail is required about the specifics.
Increasing air transport movements by up to 25,000 a year is an incredibly dangerous proposal and should not be considered. For all of the reasons outlined above, on social and environmental grounds more flights cannot be permitted. Moreover, the idea that ‘early growth’ can be achieved before the third runway is built calls into question all previous claims made about the airport being at 98% capacity."