17 May 2019
On the UK’s Earth Overshoot Day, Green MEPs have slammed the Government’s new aviation strategy for “making a mockery of the need for environmental and social sustainability”.
In his response to the Government’s aviation strategy consultation, Keith Taylor – Green MEP for South East England – argues that the Government’s plan to expand the air travel industry is “reckless at best, dangerous at worst” and does not respect the needs of future generations.
This year, Earth Overshoot Day falls on 17th May, meaning that if everyone on the planet lived as we do in the UK, we would use a year’s worth of the Earth’s ecological resources in just 128 days. If we want to protect our ecosystem for future generations, humanity must immediately reduce its ecological footprint and curb its use of fossil fuels.
You can read the full consultation response here.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, says:
“Given that our planet is in the midst of a climate emergency, it’s a disgrace that the Government would consider expanding the aviation industry – a sector which is currently responsible for 25% of the UK’s total emissions.
Its new aviation strategy shows utter contempt for people and the planet – even seeking to scrap the critical safety measures currently in place, such as limits on night flights and caps on runway traffic.
Today marks the UK’s Earth Overshoot Day, meaning that if the whole world lived as we do in the UK we would already have used up the Earth’s natural resources for the year. The Government should be doing everything in its power to push back this date by limiting the toxic emissions pumped into the air we breathe.
Instead, it continues to turn up the heat. This strategy makes it frighteningly clear it does not care about living within our ecological means. It wants more planes, more routes, more freight, more passengers – whatever the cost.”
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, says:
“This aviation strategy is not just a blow to the millions of people living near airports in the UK, but for the planet and future generations.
My constituency, London, already suffers some of the worst levels of air pollution in Europe. Breathing in this filthy air poisons our children’s classrooms, damages our lungs, and leads to thousands of premature deaths every year.
The Government has already been referred to the European Court of Justice over its continued failure to tackle illegal levels of air pollution. Yet, this strategy is more evidence of the Government clinging to policies of the past instead of facing up to today’s reality.”