Thirteen protesters who chained themselves to London Heathrow’s northern runway to oppose airport expansion have narrowly escaped jail Wednesday. Despite earlier warnings they could face custodial sentences, the group were given six weeks suspended sentences, after receiving huge support from green groups, politicians and concerned citizens who gathered outside court today, chanting Prime Minister David Cameron’s election promise – “no ifs, no buts… no third runway”. Aviation emissions are rising globally, while new UN rules to curb emissions have been labelled “too weak to have a meaningful impact,” and with legally binding commitments to cut emissions 80 per cent by 2050, airport expansion could undermine the UK’s national targets as well as its commitment under the UN climate agreement made in Paris last December. But Heathrow is just one battleground and as support for the climate movement grows globally, 2016 will see more and more people are preparing to take action against dirty energy and join the unstoppable movement accelerating the shift away from a fossil fuel culture towards a safer, cleaner future.
— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) February 24, 2016
- “No ifs, no buts… no third runway”. London’s Heathrow airport already produces illegal levels of air pollution. An additional runway is expected to treble Heathrow’s air pollution – bringing huge health impacts – and could make the airport on of the UK’s biggest single sources of carbon dioxide. Committing to a new runway would leave the UK falling short of its own commitment to cut emissions 80 per cent by 2050, and its contribution to the Paris Agreement.
- Airport expansion is inconceivable in a Post-Paris World. Aviation accounts for between two and five per cent of CO2 emissions globally, a figure which would could rise to 22 per cent of global emissions by 2050 as the industry grows. In Europe alone, aviation emissions are expected to almost double by 2035. This is inconsistent with experts warnings that these emissions must hit near-zero if world leaders are to keep their Paris promise of limiting warming “well-below 2DegC”.
- The calls for climate action are louder than ever. People from all walks of life are already choosing a clean energy future, and from the UK to France, to Turkey, concerned citizens are opposing dangerous airport expansion. As the renewable transition gets stronger and faster in a post-Paris world, people from around the globe will come together this spring to target the fossil fuel industry and strengthen their call for a clean and safe energy future.
Facebook post to share
- No New Runways (Plane Stupid)
- ‘Heathrow 13’ climate change protesters avoid jail (BBC)
- Climate activists who staged protest at Heathrow airport avoid prison (Mashable)
- Heathrow 13: climate change protesters avoid jail (Guardian)
Tools and Resources
- Press Release: 350.org reacts to suspended sentences for Heathrow 13 climate protest (350.org)
- Blog: Heathrow 13: Prof Alice Bows-Larkin’s expert evidence on aviation and climate change (Carbon Brief)
- Blog: The Heathrow ‘hooligans’ are our modern day freedom fighters (Guardian)
- Blog: Heathrow 13: I’m terrified at the thought of prison, but have no regret (Guardian)
- Blog: Who are the Heathrow 13? (Guardian)
- Webpage: Plane Stupid
- Webpage: UK Aviation emissions (Committee on Climate Change)
- Briefing: UK Aviation emissions (Committee on Climate Change)
- “As the climate crisis unfolds and politicians still fail to act, we need people like the Heathrow 13 more than ever. We should be immensely grateful for their courage to take action at high personal risk. The past teaches us that ordinary people taking extraordinary action can change the course of history; and more and more people are preparing to take civil disobedience to prevent the climate disaster from spiraling out of control.” – 350.org Europe Team Leader Nicolò Wojewoda
- “Where politicians fail, it’s up to ordinary citizens to take action. As the temperatures rise, so do people around the world. All over, people are getting ready for civil disobedience to keep the coal, oil and gas that is cooking our climate in the ground.” – 350.org’s Global Managing Director Payal Parekh
Related Tree Alerts
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- Aviation emissions cap receives support amidst ongoing international debate
- MT @350 “As the climate crisis unfolds & politicians fail to act, we need ppl like the #Heathrow13 more than ever” http://bit.ly/1SUi244
- RT @planestupid Heathrow13 have all been given 6month suspended sentences! #ClimateJustice #NoNewRunways http://fb.me/4qAvTrQEn