25 January 2018
A consultation currently underway on plans for the expansion of Bristol airport is due to end Friday 26th January. You can contribute here. Green councillors are opposed to the expansion, highlighting how the increase in the airport’s capacity – which would see passenger numbers more than double from 8 million to 20 million – contradicts local and national climate targets. The Council’s Joint Spatial Plan – which includes North Somerset and the geographical area covered by the airport– contains an explicit commitment to making a 50% cut in CO2 emissions by 2036. Bristol is also committed to being carbon neutral by 2050, a goal adopted by the previous Mayor George Ferguson which has continued under Marvin Rees
Green councillors submitted motions to Council meetings in December and January opposed to the airport expansion, and in last week’s Council meeting Councillor Charlie Bolton pressed the Labour Mayor on the issue.
Councillor Bolton said:
“I asked the Mayor about this at the last Full Council and in response he suggested he supports both meeting our climate targets and expanding the airport, which is quite frankly impossible to reconcile. Making encouraging sounds about climate commitments while blithely agreeing to more air travel is trying to have your cake and eat it. Much like Theresa May it seems the Mayor simply doesn’t want to face up to the unpleasant reality that our climate change targets are incompatible with further expanding airports and air travel in the UK.
Political evasion on this issue isn’t helping anyone – we have a collective responsibility to act if we want to save our planet. I’d urge everybody to respond to the consultation before it closes and oppose the expansion of this airport.”
Councillor Bolton also pointed out that at least two-thirds of flights at Bristol airport are taken by domestic passengers with an income above the national average. In other words, support for airport expansion is clearly weighted to benefit the more wealthy.