R4U hits out at government as High Court challenge to ‘climate-killing’ expansion of Stansted Airport is blocked

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has hit out at the government ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, as its administration at Uttlesford District Council is blocked from taking High Court action to prevent an expansion of Stansted Airport that breaks the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget law.

Dan Starr (R4U Chair) Dan Starr (R4U Chair)

R4U chair Dan Starr said “Last week UDC was notified that its request to contest the government Inspectors’ approval of the huge climate-killing Stansted Airport expansion in the High Court had been blocked. It comes on the back of the Secretaries of States’ previous refusals to intervene and halt the expansion. While the government is making many proclamations promising to reduce UK carbon emissions ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, its actions in permitting unconstrained airport expansion are totally opposed to its climate-change claims.”

Dan Starr continued “The government’s Sixth Carbon Budget law was freshly updated to target aviation emissions in time to showcase it at COP26. The law requires emissions to be well below 1990 levels. By allowing yet more huge increases in CO2 emissions rather than reductions, the government has shown a very serious dereliction of duty. Stansted Airport, while a good local employer, also has to bear the significant responsibilities of any growth. Its shareholders want to generate more profits for themselves, but in this case would be at the expense of our local environment and the planet. They want to expand it to more than 42 million passengers a year. That thirty-five-fold increase over the size it was in 1990 smashes Jumbo-Jet sized holes in the new law.”

R4U’s Dan Starr concluded “Uttlesford isn’t alone as the government seems intent on waving though airport expansions all over the country. In the last year the impacts of Climate Change have become ever more apparent, with more and more freak weather events, and these will continue to worsen without challenge and action by those we elect to safeguard our future. As the government disappointingly continues to try to remove the ability for legal challenges, we urge our councillors at UDC to once again take collective cross-party responsibility on the next steps the council can take to put our planet first.”

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