Heathrow expansion under scrutiny

Aviation facing curbs over climate change concerns


Heathrow: case for new runway may be re-examined


Airlines and airports may face curbs on their growth over growing concerns about the aviation industry’s contribution to carbon emissions, the UK government has admitted.

The Department for Transport has stated that building a third runway at Heathrow would “provide a massive economic boost to businesses and communities” across the UK, all at “no cost to the taxpayer and within our environmental obligations”.

However, the bar is likely to be raised from cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 to a target of net zero emissions under recommendations from the advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC). This may mean that expansion at Heathrow will have to be reviewed.

The Department for Transport aviation head Caroline Low told Plan B, a green pressure group: “It may be necessary to consider the CCC’s recommended policy approach for aviation.”

Tim Crosland, director of Plan B, said: “We’re pleased to see the government is taking seriously our request to review the expansion of Heathrow airport. The government can either take the necessary action to avoid climate breakdown or it can stick to business as usual and expand aviation, but it can’t have it both ways.”

The Scottish government last week withdrew its support for a cut in air passenger duty or air departure tax and said it would review its support for Heathrow in the light of the CCC’s net zero report.

Comment: Air tax cuts must be linked to pollution not passengers

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