Critics say the plan would ruin efforts to tackle the climate crisis and undermine Britain’s pre-Cop26 credibility

The government is under increasing pressure to stop any planned expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport Critics say this would undo efforts to address the environmental crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of a major climate change conference later this year
The expansion plans, which would support an increase in passengers from 4 to 7 million people a year by 2030, were approved under conditional approval by Leeds City Council earlier this month, despite widespread opposition from local MPs, residents and environmental groups / p>

Now, the same lawyers taking over government over a planned new coal mine in Cumbria have written to Secretary of State for Housing, Community and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, on behalf of activists who have asked him to call the government decision / p>

“[The] enlargement would commit the UK to decades of increased carbon emissions against the advice of the Climate Change Committee,” said lawyer Estelle Dehon, acting on behalf of the Group for Action at Leeds Bradford Airport (Galba) “As with the proposed Cumbrian coal mine, being allowed to host Cop26 in the year undermines Britain’s ambition to lead the climate crisis”

Dehon said the “call-in” process would make it possible to take into account the national and international implications of granting the permit for both airports

Proponents of the project say expanding the airport would boost the local economy by hundreds of millions of pounds and support thousands of new jobs

However, critics deny the numbers, saying it would lock the region into a diminishing carbon-rich economic future, and a report by the New Economics Foundation commissioned by activists found there would be little economic benefit, and added that expansion would indeed be a drag if the impact of more people vacationing overseas rather than the UK were taken into account on the economy

Leeds Bradford is one of several airports – including Stansted, Southampton and Bristol – seeking support for expansion proposals in the coming months

A spokesman for Leeds Bradford Airport said the planned increase in passenger numbers at the airport is not contingent on the expansion but will ensure that it “can deliver the passenger experience we seek”

They added, “We are pleased to have the support of a replacement terminal and recognition from Leeds City Council that our proposals are in line with local, national planning and aviation policy”

Leeds City Council said it had looked at all aspects of the plans, adding, “Current government policy indicates that these emissions should primarily be addressed at the national level – and addressed through international agreements and protocols should be – and not by suppressing growth at individual airports in a way that could simply export passengers to higher nearby airports to other nearby airports and increase land transport emissions ”

But green groups say the government needs to get a grip on high-carbon infrastructure programs – which are approved by local councils – if it is to be credible in the fight against climate change

Ariana Densham of Greenpeace said, “From new coal mines to expanding airports, the government has a deeply worrying but growing habit of ruthlessly passing the money on to approve environmentally harmful mega-projects. These are local decisions that will have global ramifications” / P>

The program was also criticized by local MPs, five of whom signed a letter along with city councils, environmental groups and climate researchers calling for the plans to be abolished

“Expansion would mean unhealthy increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities,” it says. “Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions right when we need to reduce them. to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis ”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Local Communities and Government said that due to the scale of the proposed development and its location in the green belt, if the council finally approves the application, it will be “referred to the Secretary of State”

However, Dehon said this did not answer the activists’ climate concerns. “The government’s response has been to postpone any decision to convene as the council is required to forward the green belt effects to Mr Jenrick at a later date, so that he can consider the convocation on this basis. This delay is not justified. The transfer of the green belt is no guarantee that the decision will be made ”

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World News – UK – Government is under pressure to halt expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/25/government-under-pressure-to-stop-leeds-bradford-airport-expansion