The environmental impact of a third runway at Heathrow


The Guardian, 27 June 2018:

This government’s decision to create more pollution at Heathrow (Report, 26 June) while simultaneously rejecting tidal power in Swansea Bay (Report, 26 June) shows it has no strategy for tackling climate change.

Although aviation only contributes about 2% of global emissions of carbon dioxide, it accounts for over 6% of global warming due the effects of other greenhouse gases and vapour trails. The upcoming report by the UK Committee on Climate Change shows that a third runway will increase CO2emissions from air travel from 37 to 43 million tonnes per annum. But since our overall carbon budget will have fallen by 2030 to 344 million tonnes, the contribution from aviation will have jumped from 6.5% to 12.5% of the UK’s carbon emissions. In other words, a third runway is incompatible with the UK’s climate commitments, and things will only get worse post-Brexit.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Marlow, Buckinghamshire

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