Aviation commission is a chance to defuse political tension, says RSPB
Last modified: 07 September 2012
Government has announced the creation of an independent Aviation Connectivity Commission in a ministerial statement issued today [Friday 7 September, 2012].
Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said, “An independent commission to consider options for UK airport expansion is an opportunity to defuse the political tension that has surrounded this. It is also a chance to look objectively at the facts. We think that once the issues have been aired the commission will agree with RSPB to rule out a Thames Estuary Airport, which would be disastrous for wildlife if given the go ahead.
“We also believe a new airport would do nothing to tackle the urgent issue of aviation’s rapidly growing contribution to climate change, the biggest long-term threat to wildlife and people. If we don’t act now to limit our emissions, we’re putting our special places and species at grave risk as well people’s homes and livelihoods.
“When it comes to climate change, an essential first step is for Government to include international aviation emissions in the UK’s carbon budgets, otherwise aviation will continue to remain a special case compared to other industries. We also need a bold new vision for the UK’s wider transport strategy. Instead of thinking about aviation expansion, the Government should be investing much more in improving the UK’s surface transport network, in new technologies for efficient and electric vehicles, and in using existing airport capacity better.”
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