No to airport expansion

08 January 2020

The final decision on whether to allow Bristol Airport to expand is to be made soon. As with many other issues, Mayor Rees is fudging the issue and taking no action.

North Somerset Council will have the final say. But a statement from the Mayor to say “no to airport expansion” would send a clear signal that Bristol is serious about tackling climate change.

As Bristol Green Party, we are not saying the airport should close. We understand people want their well-deserved holidays, and business trips and tourism help make our city the thriving place it is. But the drive for growth at all costs is damaging our environment, our health and our communities and it has to stop. Until we can find a way to travel long distances without damaging our environment, we must stop expanding our airports. And Bristol should be leading the way.

A low carbon future is good for jobs and the environment

The argument that we need airport expansion in order to create new jobs, particularly in the south of the city, is unfounded. What we need to create is 75-100,000 new jobs in low carbon industries – mostly in construction, plumbing and maintenance in order to transform how we travel, and heat and insulate our homes and workplaces. By doing this, we can reach our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.

It is important that our leaders make decisions for the future of the city, instead of repeating the mistakes of old. Building big new roads and expanding our airports is thinking from the last century. The evidence on climate change is overwhelming, and the benefits of tackling climate change on our health and communities are also overwhelmingly clear.

Our children must come first

Our leaders need to catch up. Even if the Mayor does not make the final decision on the expansion of Bristol Airport, an unambiguous message that the future of our planet and our children must come first could make all the difference. We need action, not words.

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