On Wednesday 16th December 2020, the supreme court overturned a February judgement that a third runway at Heathrow airport was illegal. This is extremely disappointing and adds uncertainty to the future of a climate damaging airport expansion.
Since the original approval of the runway in 2018, the UK has committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and only a few weeks ago it pledged to cut emissions by 68% by 2030.
Back in February this year the government chose not to challenge the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the policy concerning Heathrow’s proposed third runway was illegal as it had failed to take account of the climate change targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
It was Heathrow Airport that had gone ahead to challenge the judgement by the Court of Appeal.
The Climate Change Committee also announced last week that “any growth in capacity would have to be accounted for by the same reductions at another airport, to ensure no net increase in emissions”
Cllr Paul Fishwick, Liberal Democrat Highways & Transport Spokesperson says: “With a worsening climate crisis attention must now be focused on stopping the development consent order and the stricter pledges to cut emissions recently announced by the UK government.
The supreme court judges explicitly stated that Heathrow airport’s plans would still need to satisfy climate tests during the planning process. And the government could still scrap the policy decision to support the expansion of Heathrow airport.
If enough of us speak out by writing to your MP and objecting to this climate damaging airport expansion it can still be stopped.
The Liberal Democrats have grave doubts whether there can ever be any such thing as a carbon neutral airport expansion but of course we are opposed to any airport expansion that isn’t carbon neutral.”
Councillor Paul Fishwick
Lib Dem lead on Highways and Transport