Friends of the Earth welcomes scrapping of third runway
But lack of environmental policies is a concern
West London Friends of the Earth has welcomed the ConLib coalition’s announcement that a third runway at Heathrow will be scrapped.
Nic Ferriday commented “We are delighted that the third runway has been scrapped. Hundreds of thousands of people will breathe a sigh for relief to discover their homes and their environment will be spared.”
Friends of the Earth (FOE) has also been looking at the ‘small print’ or lack of it.
Nic commented “We are very pleased for the communities around Stansted and Gatwick who were also threatened with new runways. The Conservatives had not come out against extra runways in their manifesto (note), but the LibDems did and the LidDems have prevailed in the coalition.”
Although the 3rd runway has been scrapped, there has been no announcement about ‘runway alternation’. Nic said “We are concerned that this could be re-instated as some form compensation to the industry for scrapping the third runway.”
FOE is also pleased that there will be a change to air taxes. Instead of the present per-passenger tax, there will be a per-plane one. Nic commented “This means that taxes will be more closely aligned to the damage caused and that half empty planes will be penalised. This accords with ‘green taxation’ which FOE and the LibDems support.”
FOEs main concern is the lack of environmental policies related to the runway decision. Nic said “While the Conservatives were committed to scrapping a third runway, the key reasons why it need to be scrapped were nowhere in their election agenda. Noise, air pollution and climate change were largely ignored. We fervently hope the LibDems will force the Conservatives to address these key environmental issues and will help David Cameron to resist the climate deniers and other dinosaurs in his party.”
May 12, 2010