6 March 2019
It seems that the dire warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last October have fallen on deaf ears at Bristol International Airport (BIA). On 19 Dec. 2018, North Somerset Times ran an article (obviously based upon a Press Release from BIA) entitled "Bigger Bristol Airport on cards as permission to expand sought".
Just as a reminder, the IPCC report stated that we have just twelve years to change our polluting culture or face irreversible climate disruption. We have already had to abandon any chance of meeting the emission targets enshrined in UK law by the Climate Change Act 2008, and if BIA gets its way, its target of 20 million passengers by the mid-2040s can only help to bring on the catastrophic conditions the IPCC report projects.
Defenders of airport expansion will tell you that aviation accounts for just 2.5% of CO2 emissions. That’s roughly true at present, but reductions taking place elsewhere, combined with rising demand for flights, will soon increase that proportion dramatically. Unless curbed, aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions could consume around half the carbon budget available to the UK in 2050. Global aviation consumes an astonishing 5m barrels of oil every day, pumping 859 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, according to ATAG (Air Transport Action Group), the aviation industry's mouthpiece.
But the problem is not framed just in terms of carbon emissions. An increase of passenger numbers from just under 6 million in 2018 to more than triple that number by 2045, will have a substantial impact on the surrounding countryside. Where will all these extra fliers park their cars?
Of course, BIA is not unaware of these serious problems. But like Exxon, Shell and other oil companies 30 years ago, who were well aware of the problems caused by fossil fuel use, they seem to have chosen to ignore public welfare in favour of that seductive bottom line - profit.
NSGP are in contact with local groups campaigning against the expansion plans, including Bristol Airport Parking Community Group (BAPCoG) and the Parish Councils Airport Association (a voluntary organisation representing 22 parishes surrounding Bristol Airport in the Districts of North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset).
If you feel you could help to liaise between NSGP and these local campaigning groups on the issue of airport expansion, then please contact us.
The public consultation on the first phase of expansion to 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s is open. Go to North Somerset Council’s planning search page and search for this Reference: 18/P/5118/OUT.
This consultation is now closed.
6 Jan 2019
Further information: BAPCoG website