Reacting to the news that UK Government has chosen in principle to support the building of a new runway at Heathrow Airport, Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon commented, 

“Supporting a new runway at Heathrow is incompatible with serious action on climate change. Emissions from aviation are already 7% of the UK total and another runway will lead to more flights and increasing damage to the climate.

“Any increase in emissions from more flights into Scotland would have to be compensated with even sharper reductions in other sectors of the economy.

“Heathrow cannot possibly deliver on all the jobs and economic benefits it has promised. Their public relations onslaught across the country and at party conferences has fooled many of those who should know better.

“We need to get realistic about an aviation industry that has for too long escaped any serious action to cut its climate impact. Governments should instead be making serious investment instead in train and bus networks linking key cities across the UK.”

Nic Ferriday of West London Friends of the Earth said:

“A third runway will mean an extra quarter of a million flights a year and will make noise and air pollution levels intolerable, unacceptable and probably illegal.

“But those of us on the ground left to suffer the consequences of Heathrow expansion also care about the impact that so many more flights will have on climate change. We will fight it every step of the way.”

Notes to Editors

Scottish government welcomes third runway plan http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37761487

15% of the UK population take about 70% of all international flights http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/sites/default/files/pdfs/Air%20Traffic…

Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.