The government must intervene to stop the planned expansion of several small airports across the country if it is to meet legally binding environmental targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, activists have said.
Seven regional centers have devised plans to expand their operations despite fierce opposition from climate scientists and locals who argue that the proposals are inconsistent with efforts to address the ecological crisis.
This week, the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport was put on hold after the government halted plans to build a new terminal building on the green belt. Ministers are still deciding whether to “apply” for the decision, a process that would allow ministers to consider the national and international climate ramifications of granting permits for the airport.
Now activists say the government must go further and intervene to stop the other schemes that, taken together, would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Tim Johnson of the Aviation Environment Federation said the UK airport’s expansion plans would contradict the most recent recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s climate advisers.
He said the government should have a strategic view of the climate impact of the proposals rather than leaving it to individual local authorities. “If you look at the cumulative impact of all these regional airports, it is very likely to compromise the government’s ability to go to zero.”
Johnson said decisions on expansion plans at four airports – Leeds Bradford, Bristol, Stansted and Manston – will “pile up” on ministers’ desks in the coming months and that other proposals in Southampton, Luton and Gatwick could end up being decided by the national government.
“The government must take control of the situation, look at the cumulative impacts of all these airports and the compatibility of that with our net zero commitments.”
Robert Jenrick, the community secretary, issued an order to Leeds city council this week preventing councilors from granting planning permits without special authorization. This gives you more time to decide whether to “call” in the planning application.
Jenrick recently used the same powers to intervene in plans to build a new coal mine in Cumbria amid international condemnation of the proposals and there is growing scrutiny of other high-carbon projects in the UK ahead of a climate summit. global key to be held in Glasgow in November. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Planning decisions should be made locally whenever possible. The power to call is used very selectively and when requests to call are requested on an application, ministers will consider the case individually, in accordance with our published policy. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism