UK govt must step in to stop airports expansion, say climate activists

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Climate campaigners have reportedly demanded that the UK government must intervene to halt the planned expansion of a number of small airports around the country. The activists opine that this is must if the government is to meet legally mandatory environmental targets and circumvent the worst effects of the climate crisis.

According to reliable sources, seven regional hubs have formulated plans for the expansion of their operations in spite of fierce opposition from locals and climate scientists. This opposing group argues that the proposals are incompatible with efforts towards addressing the ecological crisis.

As per Aviation Environment Federation’s Tim Johnson, the airport expansion plans of the UK would contravene the latest recommendations from the government’s climate advisers, the Climate Change Committee.

Johnson also stated that the government must take a strategic overview of the climate impact of the proposals instead of leaving it up to individual local authorities. Further, a look at the cumulative effect of all these regional airports is very likely to compromise the capability of the government to reach net zero, added Johnson.

For the record, the development of the Leeds Bradford airport was deferred this week, after the government rested plans for the construction of a new terminal building on the green belt. Meanwhile, ministers are still deciding whether they should “call in” the decision. This process would enable the international and national climate implications of granting approval for the airport to be examined by ministers.

The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, issued a direction to the Leeds city council this week. The direction prevented councilors from granting planning permission without special authorization. This provides Jenrick with more time for deciding whether to “call in” the planning application.

The same powers were recently used by the Communities Secretary for intervening in plans for the construction of a new coalmine in Cumbria. The move comes amid international condemnation of the proposals.

Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/08/climate-campaigners-call-for-halt-to-regional-uk-airports-expansion