29 May 2015
Airport expansion at Gatwick would cause:
Surrey already has the worst incidence of deaths caused by air pollution in the South East[ii]. Clean Air London says the increases in air pollution around Gatwick would be in breach of the UK’s Sustainable Development duties under European law[iii].
At Heathrow, airport expansion would cause:
The UK already has the highest proportion of zones exceeding safe NO2 limits in Europe.
Green Party MEP for the South East, Keith Taylor, said:
“Sir Howard Davies could hold 100 consultations if he wanted but the reality is that building any major new runways would be seriously bad news for air quality, rule out any chance of meeting our climate change targets, and would result in an unprecedented increase in noise levels. My preference in this polarised `Heathrow or Gatwick` debate is for neither to be allowed. Expansion of either makes their environmental impact worse. We can, and should avoid them both”.
Jacquetta Fewster of Mole Valley Green Party said:
“We need a Strategic Environmental Assessment of these proposals. It’s not a localised issue and the impacts will be widely felt and need to be assessed more broadly”.
Jonathan Essex Chair of South East Green Party, and Reigate and Surrey councillor, said:
“The biggest impact here is climate change, and international flights are not currently included in UK carbon targets. If we properly account for climate change we won’t expand our airports. There should be a further consultation on climate change too”.
The Green Party – alongside other groups including Clean Air London and the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – is telling the Commission that its assessments totally underestimate future impacts as they are for 2030 when the expanded airports would only be at half capacity. But even the increases in pollution it has identified would be illegal and damaging to human health.
Notes to editors:
Jonathan Essex is available for further comments: 07801541924 or Jacquetta Fewster: 07801233582
The Green Party response (link at the bottom):
Clean Air London response here:
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign response here:
South East Regional Co-ordinator for the Green Party
Job share with Emma Leigh (who works Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). In my absence please contact Emma on Emma.Leigh@greenparty.org.uk 07736 883852