Heathrow expansion

The government announced that it was minded to allow Heathrow to expand. A new runway and sixth terminal will increase capacity from 480,000 to 702,000 flights. The government’s consultation documents – totalling hundreds of pages – did not provide an estimate of the impact on CO2 emissions. In this article, we offer a tentative figure of about 16m tonnes as the potential maximum impact of the proposed expansion. After multiplying by 2.7 to account for the other pollutants created by aviation, the increase takes the total UK emissions from aviation up to 144m tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Another piece in this newsletter discusses Gordon Brown’s statement in the same week that total UK emissions from all sources may need to fall to no more 155m tonnes by 2050.

The disjunction between government policies on aviation and climate change is startling.

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