Surrey County Council fails to recognise the climate impact of airport expansion

All but four Conservative members of Surrey County Council today blocked a joint Green/Labour motion linking airport expansion with an increased risk of climate chaos.

Jonathan Essex, Green Party Councillor for Redhill East, seconded a Labour-tabled motion at today’s Surrey County Council meeting. The Motion called on the County Council to be clear on its position regarding the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport.

The motion said:

“This council therefore agrees that the expansion of London Heathrow is not consistent with either the Council’s or the Government’s declaration of a climate emergency and the need to reduce carbon emissions.”

Following the meeting, Jonathan Essex, said: “The links between expanding airports and increased greenhouse gas emissions are blindingly obvious. On a day when Extinction Rebellion are on the streets of London calling for action by all politicians, Surrey County Council has put itself on a collision course with climate targets.

“Earlier this year the Council declared a climate emergency and matched the Government’s target to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. That means the Council needs to get off the fence and take a strong position on all the big issues, including airport expansion and gas and oil drilling.”

The Government’s adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, recently called for airport expansion plans to be cut back dramatically to help meet the zero carbon target.


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