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Heathrow’s expansion plans make a mockery of the zero emissions strategy

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The bosses at Heathrow must have been visiting another planet last week, or else they missed the government memo about legislating for net zero emissions by 2050.

The plans unveiled today for a 50% expansion in the airport by 2050, including a third runway, all to be done in “a sustainable way”, take dissembling to new levels. Heathrow is already the largest single source of carbon emissions in the UK.

The outline plans reveal the scale of what’s proposed: building a tunnel for the M25, rerouting rivers, building enormous carparks outside the perimeter of the current airport, destroying local villages. The government itself says nearly a million households will be affected by the third runway, which will allow another 700 flights a day.

Heathrow’s owners maintain that the airport’s expansion will not significantly alter the UK’s emissions, but only reach this conclusion by excluding international aviation emissions. That suggests they missed another memo, this time from the committee on climate change which has said emissions from international aviation should be formally included in the UK’s climate targets.

Carbon pollution from flying in Europe has risen 26% in the past five years – far outpacing any other transport mode. And, while the UK economy has reduced........

© The Guardian