The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport has written to all Leeds MPs and Leeds City Council asking them to help local people find jobs outside of the aviation industry. The request comes shortly after both Swissport and Jet2 announced large redundancies and the UK Committee on Climate Change urged government ministers to seize the opportunity to turn the Covid crisis into a defining moment in the fight against the climate crisis.
In the letter, GALBA say that national and local government have a real opportunity to tackle climate change and rebuild the economy. Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “It’s obvious that the Covid crisis has changed the way people travel and do business. The CEO of Swissport said - ‘There is no escaping the fact that the aviation industry is now smaller than it was, and it will remain so for some time to come.’”
“So let’s help people working at the airport and Jet2 move into safe and sustainable jobs - jobs that give them a decent wage and tackle climate change at the same time. For example, super-insulating peoples’ homes provides work, reduces greenhouse gases and cuts fuel bills too. We also need to build flood defences and make cycling and walking safer for people. The Council has made a good start on these initiatives - let’s do more.”
Chris added: “GALBA has said all along that LBA’s claims about job creation are not credible. Sadly, these redundancies show that we’re right. Now is the time to help people switch into jobs with a future, for the future. We have choices to make and we agree with Lord Deben, chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change, who said - ‘Choices that lock in emissions or climate risks are unacceptable.’ That’s a key reason why we oppose the proposed expansion of LBA.”
1) GALBA’s letter: a copy of the letter sent to MPs and Leeds City Council attached below.
2) YEP report on Swissport redundancies: available here.
3) YP report on Jet2 redundancies: available here.
4) UK Committee on Climate Change: you can find the UKCCC’s press release and the full version of their June 2020 report to government here and a more detailed summary here.
5) Climate impact of Leeds-Bradford Airport expansion: researchers at Leeds University have examined the climate effects of LBA’s expansion plans. The airport wants to double the number of passengers using the airport every year from 4m to 7.1m by 2030. This means that by 2030, the climate impact of all the extra flights would be double the target for all emissions for Leeds as a whole. By 2045, the overshoot would escalate to almost a factor of 10. By 2050, the combined climate impact of all flights through Leeds Bradford Airport since 2018 would be almost double the carbon budget for Leeds as a whole. Even if only one in five passengers are Leeds residents, their flights alone would use up 35% of the city’s entire carbon budget by 2050. The full article is available here.