KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday 14th March 2008 – 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
TERMINAL FOLLY AT HEATHROW
Heathrow Terminal 5 opens today (14th March). This day should be marked as a national day of mourning for the UK’s climate. Terminal 5 doubles Heathrow’s passenger capacity, increases noise and air pollution and may be followed by a 6th terminal and a third runway. All these projects run counter to any reasonable notion of resisting climate change. Steve Dawe explains why:
“Aviation is the fastest growing source of UK CO2 emissions. Emissions from UK aviation have more than doubled since 1990. Most scientists agree that aircraft emissions are about twice as damaging to the climate as emissions from other industries, perhaps considerably more.
“Kent Green Party makes an appeal to people in Kent to fly as little as possible. UK tourism deserves more support from Kent residents and so does travelling by rail to the continent.
“If UK aviation is defined as all domestic services plus all international departures from the UK, then the aviation sector currently contributes about 5.5% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, based on 2005 figures. These figures underestimate the UK’s responsibility because they refer only to outward journeys and take no account of aircraft arriving in the UK. If the statistics were based on the nationality of passengers, the UK’s share would be higher(1). Because of the rapid increase in emissions from flying, the Government’s brand new target from this week’s Budget of an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is in jeopardy. Cuts in aviation emissions are just as necessary as cuts in emissions from other transport sectors and from the built environment. And oil prices make aviation expansion particularly perverse, as oil supplies are now peaking globally and production will begin to decline(2).”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe at 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above.
Aviation Environment Federation: http://www.aef.org.uk/downloads//UKAviationcontributiontoCO2emissions.doc
See: Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl – Transport Revolutions: moving people and freight without oil (Earthscan, 2008). They make a persuasive case for a 2012 peak of global oil supplies. A report to the US Government in 2005 stressed that all reasonable predictions for the global peak of oil supplies are 2006-2016: Robert L. Hirsch et al – Peaking of world oil production: impacts, mitigation and risk management – February 2005. At present, oil prices have risen to $111 dollars a barrel and show no sign of reduction given continuing increases in demand from key states such as China, India, the USA and Australia.