Friends of the Earth and others won a landmark court case in February 2020 on the grounds of climate change, but Heathrow has shamefully appealed the decision.
The Appeal Court judges ruled that the National Policy Statement (NPS) – which promotes a third runway at Heathrow – was unlawful. The NPS is unlawful because it has failed to take proper account of the UK’s commitments on climate change, specifically the commitment made under the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees.
However, Heathrow Airport has now (7th May) been given permission by the Supreme Court to challenge this Court of Appeal’s decision. The Government indicated at the time that it would not be appealing the judgment, leaving Heathrow to bring the challenge alone.
At a time when the catastrophic climate change is now recognised as a massive threat to us all and to our planet, the appeal from Heathrow is shocking. It seems that Heathrow and the aviation industry have no real intent to address the issue of climate change. Heathrow’s response is to issue misleading statements about how the problem can be solved by alternative fuels, planting trees or using electric planes – which it can’t. Meanwhile, trying to sabotage action on climate change through the courts.
Heathrow Airport and their CEO, John Holland-Kaye, need to search their collective conscience. They will rightly be branded as public enemies and climate criminals if they continue this reckless approach to our climate and our future.
During one of the biggest health and economic crises of our time, polluting airlines in the UK are asking for huge government bailouts. They want taxpayers’ money – our money – to keep them going.
You may have already seen it in the news, billionaire Richard Branson hasn’t paid UK tax for 14 years but he’s asking for a £500 million taxpayer bailout for his airline – Virgin Atlantic.
Meanwhile, EasyJet is set to receive £600 million in government loans – while refusing to cancel a £170 million payout made to shareholders just weeks ago.
Airlines like this want taxpayer money with no-strings-attached, no promises to clean up their businesses or protect the climate, and no commitments to put their employees before shareholders and bonuses.
If we want to build a safer, greener and more resilient world after the health crisis is over, the airline industry needs to change.
So, I’ve added my name to an open letter to the UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, saying that if he gives airlines a bailout, then they must protect their workers and massively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Will you join me and thousands of others so he pays attention?
The government keeps saying it is guided by the science when it comes to coronavirus. So why does it ignores the science, evidence and logic when it comes to aviation and climate change? See latest revelation.