Campaigners have claimed that the new expansion at Heathrow Airport will create a serious obstacle to the UK’s commitments on climate change.
With scientists also weighing in on the subject, citing the difficulties that the expansion will cause while trying to reduce air pollution, the Government stated that it believed that the new runway could go ahead while still being able to cut carbon emissions.
In a report released last year, the Airports Commission stated that the extra runway would be in fact an opportunity to right environmental wrongs that have developed through “ad hoc” expansion in the past.
The Commission included increased levels of noise for residents, breaches of air pollution safety levels in urban areas and the levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
It also suggested that a “noise envelope” should be agreed upon so that the airport could stay within legal limits.
An independent commission report published last year said that new air links were vital for the economy, trade, and investment, before going on to select Heathrow as the best site for such expansions.
Speaking to The Independent, Professor Joanna Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment said:
Expansion at Heathrow, or any other airport, will create a serious obstacle to the UK meeting its greenhouse gas and air quality targets.
“Increased flights, more traffic on roads in and around the airports, and emissions from the new construction will add to an already woeful situation, particularly in London and the South East of England.”
Greenpeace has also launched an appeal for funds to help pay for a judicial review of the decision. John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director said that, “a third runway at Heathrow would be a waste of time, money and lives.”
Since the announcement, several newspapers have reported that the Prime Minister Theresa May has in the past expressed different views to the development — which are in contrast to the ones that she currently holds.
Pages on her website, which have since been deleted, shows the Prime Minister expressing her opposition to the expansion, with one statement declaring that she was “clear that we must say no to a third runway at Heathrow.”
From one of the now-deleted pages on Theresa May’s website: “Theresa is firmly against plans to build a third runway at Heathrow…” pic.twitter.com/EGc9hyuPe7
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) October 25, 2016