Pressure is mounting to oppose the expansion of Bristol airport in the lead up to the airport’s latest push to overturn the decision not to let it expand. North Somerset Councillors voted to reject the airport’s plan to expand to 12 million passengers in February 2020, but the airport has since appealed this decision. A public inquiry into the expansion is due to start on the 20th July and will sit for 40 days. The inquiry looks set to be packed with residents, campaigners and politicians opposed to further airport expansion.
If the airport successfully overturns the decision not to let it expand, this would lead to an additional one million tonnes of CO2 equivalents emitted every year, as well as increased traffic and noise pollution. In North Somerset, Green, Labour, Independents and Lib Dem councillors worked cross-party to reject the airport’s expansion plans. In Bristol, Labour Mayor Marvin Rees is coming under increasing pressure to use his voice to oppose the expansion.
Green Councillor Lily Fitzgibbon, who was a founding member of Bristol Youth Strike for Climate, and recently took the Mayor to task over his failure to oppose the airport said:
“Addressing the climate crisis isn’t just about having an inspiring vision for our city and our region. It also has to be about taking the hard decisions that are needed to get us there. Allowing the airport to expand further would lead to an additional one million tonnes of CO2 equivalents emitted above Bristol every year. This is the biggest climate decision for our city and region. We can’t let this decision be overturned, or my generation will be paying the price.”
North Somerset Councillor Bridget Petty, who represents Backwell, a stone’s throw from the Airport, said:
“Bristol airport is big enough already. They already have permission for 10 million passengers a year, yet they are now pushing for 12 million with a long term vision of 20 million per year. This vision is quite simply incompatible with addressing the climate crisis we face.”
Bristol made history in 2018, becoming the first city to announce a climate emergency and carbon neutral 2030 goals. The climate emergency motion was proposed by Green Councillor Carla Denyer and passed with cross party support. Since then, 74% of all councils across the country have followed suit, including North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and WECA.
Councillor Carla Denyer said:
“Airport expansion would be a complete betrayal of our climate emergency declaration and climate goals. We cannot let it happen. If you care about the future and the world you, your children and grandchildren will live in now is the time to stand up and take a stand.”
Members of the public can attend and speak at the inquiry which starts on the 20th July.