London Indymedia

No to Air Expansion As Climate Issue Hots Up

IMC UK Features | 02.12.2005 21:11 | Ecology | Globalisation | London | World

A coalition of eco-activists, climate change campaigners and local airport residents demonstrated in London outside the gala dinner of the the world's largest aviation industry conference on Tuesday 29th November. The area was heavily policed with mounted officers and dogs and pedestrian access to Tower Bridge bridge restricted. Aviation delegates arriving at London's Tower Bridge Walkways were greeted with a noisy protest and a brief attempt to block the route of delegate coaches was made.

Reports, pictures and video: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | video | Cambridge | Edinburgh | Australia

Earlier in the day it was reported that Earth First activists distrupted the aviation conference [report]. The campaigners were opposing plans to expand runways and drawing attention to the fact that aviation is one of the fastest growing cause of climate change. The actions also coincided with the begining of the UN Kyoto "COP 11 / MOP 1" Climate Conference in Montreal, Canada, which runs until 9th December [Official website | Climate Justice Convergence Centre | Climate Justice Blog]

On the same day Tony Blair's 'pro-nuclear' energy review speech was also disrupted by Greenpeace activists at the annual CBI conference [GP report | earlier Downing St. 'coal' blockade report]. Campaigners are now preparing for the International Day of Climate Protest this Saturday, 3rd December, with climate demonstrations planned in over 30 countries - see UK Details | International Info. A late summer Climate Action Camp for 2006 has also been recently announced.

Also see: Climate Change IMC | IMC SouthCoast Runway to Ruin Feature (Nov 05)
Indymedia Pre-G8 2005 Climate Change Resources + Reports |
SchNEWS on Nuclear Power Craze | PlanetStupid | Stop Climate Chaos Coalition | Pledge To Take Action Against Airport Expansion | Raised Voices: Climate Testimonies | Heathrow's Third Runway challenged by villagers

a banner on the bridge
a banner on the bridge

Residents from groups including HACAN Clearskies, NOTRAG (No Third Runway Group) and Airport Watch who live near to some of the airports earmarked for expansion are set to suffer further effects of noise pollution, traffic congestion and an increase in respiratory illnesses - some are being told their homes may be destroyed to make way for more tarmac.

Earlier in the day Earth First! protestors were reported to have stormed their way through security at the conference. Armed with rape alarms attached to helium balloons which they released into the high ceiling conference suite, the disruption was timed to coincide with a key note speech by a senior executive from British Airways. Ironically, each of the six alarms causes 130 decibels of noise - the equivalent of a jumbo jet taking off.

One of the activists, Richard George, explained, "Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change, so we decided to bring the high-flying aviation executives back down to ground. Just as Earth First! disrupted the government's road building programme in the '90s, and stopped the commercialisation of GM crops, we're just as determined to stop airport expansion using direct action."

Another activists, Joss Garman, added, "We're raising the alarm and saying the climate crisis is out of control and aviation expansion just can't go on."

Following the disruption of Blair's 'energy review' CBI speech, Stephen Tindale Director of Greenpeace UK said, "Today Blair is trying to launch a new nuclear age and we are here to stop him. Nuclear power is not the answer to climate change - it's costly, dangerous and a terrorist target."

"Just three years ago Blair conducted the biggest energy review in 60 years - which concluded renewable energy and energy efficiency, not nuclear, is the way forward. Today's new review is simply a smokescreen for pushing his new-found enthusiasm for nuclear power. It's like Iraq all over again Blair makes his mind up then tries to spin his decision to the British people."

"The real solution to climate change and energy security is a mix of efficient, safe and clean energy technologies like wind, wave, and solar. Plus we need to stop wasting energy by generating it closer to where it is consumed - Woking Council have done this and slashed their CO2 emissions by nearly 80%."

He concluded, "Nuclear power is simply a dangerous red herring in this debate. Even if the UK replaced all 23 of its operating reactors, we would only save 10% of our carbon emissions. In contrast the ?56 billion of tax-payers money being used to fund the clean up of the UK's current nuclear sites could buy and install enough wind turbines to meet 20% of the UK's electricity needs."

IMC UK Features


5 fold increase over the next 30 years

03.12.2005 18:42


Additional coverage

06.12.2005 15:21

The Pod Report

has a special feature this week on Airport Expansion.

See also Theft of the Commons

We also need more objections to the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor on expanison of Farnborough Airport



Display the following 2 comments

  1. That was political action. — DC
  2. demo — Private Widdle


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