Climate Action Redhill & Reigate against Gatwick expansion
We are the Friends of the Earth climate action group most local to Gatwick airport and consist of residents from the Redhill and Reigate area.
We strongly object to the proposal to expand Gatwick airport, as it is completely inconsistent with the need to reduce carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050.
Unless or until low carbon technology is widely available for commercial aviation, this plan is utterly counter to where we need to be in protecting the planet from warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius. The proposed expansion would increase Gatwick's CO2 emissions by almost 50% from 2018 levels. We consider this extremely concerning and wholly unacceptable.
Furthermore, as local residents, we also object to the worsening air pollution and noise that would inevitably result from an increased number of flights (up by 100,000 per year) and passenger movements (up by 27 million per year). There would obviously be a significant increase in the number of cars on the local roads and pressure on public transport infrastructure, increased congestion and air pollution, and the environmental destruction involved in reliance on monoculture biofuel production and use is completely unacceptable.
We are extremely disappointed that Gatwick has not seen fit to consult with local residents via stakeholder engagement sessions regarding the noise impacts of the proposed expansion; something other airports have at least done.
Furthermore, the airport has failed to demonstrate any real benefit arising from this proposal or to show the need for the additional capacity in the first place.
As local residents, we have concerns about the issues affecting us personally, such as the noise and air pollution issues stated above. However, we are writing here as a climate action group and our main concern is obviously for the environment, which, ultimately, is more important than any individual.
The climate and emergency crises affect all of us and individuals and corporations alike need to be part of the solution and not, as you plan to be, part of the problem.
Individuals and businesses need to urgently do everything possible to reduce - not increase - CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, for the sake of ourselves and those who will need to live on this finite planet in future.
Your plans are dangerous folly and need to be abandoned immediately.
Climate Action Redhill & Reigate