Leeds Bradford Airport's expansion plans mean that it would massively increase its greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time that Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency, the airport would be making the climate crisis worse.

The only way to cut emissions from flying, right now, is to fly less - not more. We can make the right choices today. We can build a better future

The effects of climate change can be seen all around the world. Extreme weather – wildfires, floods, droughts, super-storms, melting ice caps – are happening on a scale never seen before.

And flying is one of the fastest growing causes of climate warming gases.

But there is still time to prevent the worst. We can cut greenhouse gas emissions. We can make the right choices today. We can build a better future.

The Climate Change Committee is a group of experts who advise the government on how to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They have recommended that airports should not be allowed to expand unless emissions from flying are falling fast enough to reach net zero by 2050.

“Time is no longer on our side… what we do over the next 10 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000 years”

Aviation is the most climate-harming mode of transport

In 2018, the contribution of flying to all annual human-caused greenhouse gas emissions reached about 6%.

In European countries, home to many frequent flyers, the share is even bigger. Yet the aviation industry wants us to believe that flying accounts for only 2% of global emissions. But that’s not the whole picture: aviation’s climate impact isn’t limited to CO2.

There are other types of greenhouse gases, usually emitted at altitude, which make the total climate damaging impact of flying, on average, 3 times the effect of CO2 alone.

The advice from independent scientists is being ignored.  Airports must not be allowed to expand. That includes Leeds Bradford Airport. The only way to cut emissions from flying, right now, is to fly less – not more.

Despite all the aviation industry’s promises and glossy adverts, all independent scientific analyses show there is no realistic prospect of aviation reaching net zero by 2050 unless we stop the planned increase in flying.

Flying is also a very unequal activity. Just 15% of people in the UK take 70% of all flights – and cause a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions that damage the climate we all depend on. Whereas half the population does not fly at all in any given year. At a global level, the inequality is even more stark. Just 1% of the world’s population causes half of all the emissions from aviation.

If you want to find out more about the links between aviation and the climate crisis, please check out the following:

Our Jet Zero campaign explains more about why the so-called solutions to aviation’s greenhouse gas problem are false hopes.

There’s more information about so-called ‘sustainable’ aviation here.

And the team at Stay Grounded have some excellent fact-sheets and information to download and share.

Other issues

Leeds Bradford Airport is big enough already