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No new runways is still the only option, reveals new report on Heathrow expansion

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23 February 2017

Keith Taylor MEP: “Today’s report is an important reminder that campaigners have been right all along; Heathrow expansion is still a climate-wrecking decision that is bad for the British people and the planet.”

The Government is still not able to demonstrate that it can mitigate the destructive environmental impacts of a new runway at Heathrow, according to a report published today by the Environmental Audit Committee.

The report on Heathrow expansion reveals the Government is still failing to take into account major concerns about the air pollution, carbon emissions and noise pollution effects of expansion.

Responding to the findings Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, argued that the report was further proof that ‘Heathrow expansion is an unnecessary environmental disaster in waiting’.

Mr Taylor, a vocal anti-airport expansion activist who has written about the legal difficulties a third runway will face, said:

“Today’s report is an important reminder that campaigners have been right all along; Heathrow expansion is still a climate-wrecking decision that is bad for the British people and the planet.”

“The report reveals that the Government has paid little consideration to the triple threat of unacceptable environmental risks the prospect of a new runway brings with it, from air pollution to carbon emissions and noise pollution.”

“A new runway will breach legal air pollution limits and further worsen an air quality crisis that the Government is already failing to tackle. And there is still no answer forthcoming on any plan to reduce current levels of air pollution which are responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 50,000 people in Britain every year.”

“Expansion will bust Britain’s carbon budgets and make a mockery of Theresa May’s legal-binding commitments under the Paris Agreement. Astonishingly, the Government’s response appears to be its willingness to water down already dangerously-lax limits on aviation emissions, despite the recommendations of its own advisors.”

“Thousands of local residents will be appalled to read today’s report only to discover that not only will a third runway ensure the air they breathe is about to get more toxic but the Government has no plans to tackle the cacophony of noise pollution that expansion promises.”

“There are no two ways about it; expansion is a disastrous decision for the people of the South East, London, Britain, and the planet. Britain’s ‘airport capacity crisis’ is, and always has been, a dangerous myth driven by corporate greed, not by actual need. Not only is all but one airport in the UK operating under capacity, sponsoring the exponential growth of an aviation industry that is a top-ten global polluter is wholly incompatible with Britain’s Paris climate agreement commitments.”

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