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Jet-set waltz off while the planet burns

anonymous | 21.01.2008 09:17 | Climate Chaos

Over twenty environmental protesters have this morning breached security at Edinburgh Airport and blockaded the entrance to the private jet company, Greer Aviation.

The activists, from radical direct action group Plane Stupid Scotland, pledged that today’s actions come as part of a nationwide campaign to reverse the current plans for a tripling of air travel in Scotland which they say flies in the face of the government's own climate targets.

The protestors, with banners reading 'This planet has no emergency exits,' and dressed in business atire with individual private jet wings strapped to their backs highlighted that unregulated business jet use must be brought into the aviation debate.

Plane Stupid Scotland spokesperson Oli said:

Exponential economic growth is not compatible with climate change mitigation. The majority of aviation growth stems from the demand of the wealthiest 10%, and this is why we target private jet use today. We will never succeed in saving this planet and maintaining our existence on it unless we commit to fighting for the right to existence for all through dismantling capitalism. If we don’t use our energy to join with others to make real global change, to create new ways of living together, and to find genuinely sustainable alternative job opportunities for those employed in high emission industries, then we live in a system in which the planet suffers alongside us, the people.

Today’s action aims to highlight the fact that in the UK, private jet use is the fastest growing sector of the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions – aviation[1]. Yet private jet journeys typically have a global warming impact that can be an incredible 50-70 times that of the same journey made by train.[2]

Plane Stupid spokesperson Lucy said:

"Whilst the British Government is eager to flout their green credentials in the upcoming Climate Change Bill, they are still supporting expansion at 24 airports across the UK – including every single Scottish airport. But the science clearly shows that it will be impossible for Britain to meet the CO2 reduction targets set out in the bill if these plans go ahead – which is the real reason why emissions from aviation are specifically excluded from the bill."

The Department for Transport’s own figures show that around half of the forecast expansion in Scottish air transport, from 14 million to 50 million passenger movements by 2030, will take place at Edinburgh airport - more than doubling its emissions. Yet incredibly the scale of carbon emissions has been excluded from the government consultation on the expansion plans (3).

Spokesperson Jo added.

"A staggering 98% of flights from Edinburgh are to destinations reachable by bus or train – both over ten times less polluting. We see no attempt by BAA Edinburgh to make its own contribution to cutting carbon emissions. Instead they push ahead with their promotion of binge-flying disregarding all the scientific warnings."

Despite unprecedented awareness about the impact of air travel on global warming, aircraft manufacturers forecast worldwide deliveries of new passenger jets will come close to 10,000 over the next decade - almost double the production rate for the previous 10 years. If UK expansion plans are allowed to go ahead, around 3000 planes will be added to British fleets alone (4).

Plane Stupid Scotland argues that the links must be made between the aviation industry profiteering off the planet, local residents and workers alike. Plane Stupid Scotland is fed up with waiting for government to act in the face of an unprecedented climate threat. Today is the first action of Plane Stupid Scotland who in turn are just one part of the growing movement of climate activists who have decided that they must act themselves to stop climate change.

Plane Stupid Scotland are Calling for

1) The Government to end all subsidies given to the Scottish aviation industry

2) An urgent, targeted and public investment strategy in the alternatives to short-haul aviation

3) No more runways- and a strategy to dismantle existing ones.

4) Mobilization of affected communities to determine their own lives against aviation expansion and runaway climate change.


[1] Air travel as a whole already accounts for over 13% of the UK ’s total contribution to climate change. The latest figures available show 6.9% of European flights recorded by air traffic control authorities were "business aviation" in 2005, with an estimated 40% flying empty on "positioning flights" to pick up passengers. The number of business jet flights was growing at 8.9% two years ago - twice as fast as the rest of air traffic - and is believed to have accelerated since.


[3] Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Anderson , Bows (2006) ‘Policy Clash’, Transport Policy.

[4] - note: DfT predictions factor in a wildly optimistic increase in fuel efficiency of almost 30% by 2030.



Plane Stupid Scotland action against private jets and Greer Aviation

21.01.2008 13:58

Pics of this morning's action. Ten people from Plane Stupid Scotland were arrested. Four people in steel lock-on tubes who were blocking the vehicle gate onto the taxi-way were cut out by the Faslane cutting team after successfully blockading for four hours. One of the four was taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia. There had earlier been a long dispute between members of action support and the police. The police were preventing access to the blockaders who were clearly shivering and soaked by the poring rain. after twenty minutes it was negotiated that a coat could be placed over one man who was particularly suffering but it was left too late to stop him from getting hypothermia. We're still waiting to hear from the hospital about his condition.

Two pairs of people were d-locked over the two main entrances to the building and were also cut out and nicked at the same time. Two women who had climbed on the roof of the Greer building waltzed around the roof and had a tea party to the sound of live clarinet playing. The cops eventually put a ladder up and they too were arrested. They had remained on the roof for four hours. All support were able to leave. Agro from the cutting team was minimal but the arrival of reinforcements in riot gear was somewhat over the top.

More info and video to follow

Andrew Tovey


Display the following 8 comments

  1. well done — ps
  2. Nice one! — Londoner
  3. Over done? — G. E. Treal
  4. all ok — s
  5. Re: Overdone — Andrew
  6. Andrew — planes trains automobiles and ships
  7. Commendable this time, nevertheless. IMHO — G. E. Treal
  8. more info and update — s


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