Posters funded by campaigners against the proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport went up at prominent sites around Leeds today. One of the posters pictured [see attached] is in front of the airport entrance.
The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) paid for the posters as part of their campaign to oppose the airport’s expansion plans. They warn that expansion. would double the airport’s greenhouse gas emissions in the middle of the climate emergency. They also say there would be much more noise, air pollution and local traffic congestion.
Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “Even under lockdown, we’re finding ways to get the message out: airport expansion is a bad idea for many reasons. The claims that LBA makes about job creation are simply not credible - they’re based on figures from before the COVID crisis. The news that British Airways and Ryanair are pulling of LBA shows how the world has changed. We need Leeds City Council to help people move into safe and sustainable jobs - jobs with a future.”
He added: “We’re pleased that people with different political viewpoints oppose expansion. We’ve had support from people in the Labour, Conservative, Liberal-Democratic and Green parties - and people who aren’t in any political party.”
Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel said on Saturday that he would make a formal objection to LBA’s expansion planning application.
1) Where to find the posters:
White House Lane. Entrance to Leeds Bradford Airport; Gelderd Road opposite AC2000.
Barrack Road opposite Minster Jaguar showroom.
Stanningley Road outside Letterpress Printers.
Roseville Road outside Wilco Motosave.
Lower Wortley Ring Road urban dual carriageway. Outside Ringways Ford car showroom.
Lower Wortley Ring Road urban dual carriageway.
Meanwood Rd by Johnstons Paint.
York Road A64 urban dual carriageway. Opposite PDSA.
2) 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.
3) Wealthy minority take majority of flights: Leeds Climate Commission’s ‘Aviation Position Paper’ was published in December 2019. It states that the. majority of UK flights are taken by a minority of better off people. 70% of all flights are taken by 20% of the population; 100% of all flights are taken by 52% of people. These ‘frequent flyers’ are on higher incomes - the wealthiest 20% take 40% of all flights. The full report is available here.
4) Aviation expansion and achieving zero carbon are fundamentally incompatible - and new technologies are not on the horizon: Leeds City Council “accepts that aviation growth and meeting zero carbon targets are fundamentally incompatible until such time as new technologies are developed.”* Leeds Climate Commission’s ‘Aviation Position Paper’ states: “In the medium to long term, there is some scope for technological change... However, the prospects for such innovations becoming widely adopted across the aviation sector in the short to medium term currently seem low - even if planes with new technologies became viable in the next decade, it would take many years for existing fleets to transition towards the new technologies. Given the nature of the climate emergency and the need to deliver deep reductions in emissions in the next decade, the growth of emissions from. aviation therefore represents a major challenge.”. Page 4 of Exec Board Climate Emergency report, 7 January 2020.
5) Leeds Climate Change Citizens Jury: the Jury was a group of 25 randomly selected Leeds residents, representative of the population of Leeds. They considered the climate change challenges facing the city and made recommendations about how Leeds needs to respond. Recommendation 9 was: “Leeds Bradford Airport expansion should be stopped; specifically Leeds City Council should not approve new road-building or selling land to develop... Residents should block expansion and be educated about the impact on the carbon footprint”. The jury also said that flying should be discouraged by measures including a frequent-flyer tax (based on income and number of flights and location) and by advertising holidays in the UK rather than abroad. The full report is available here.