Archived press release
Press & Media

Commenting on the publication today (22 March 2013) of the Government’s aviation policy framework, Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton, said:

“This document could have been written by the aviation industry – it encourages more flying, while only requiring ‘cost-effective’ action to tackle climate change.

“It’s nonsense for ministers to say aviation has to grow when it causes so many environmental problems.

“The industry only thrives because of the multi-billion pound tax breaks it receives from the Government, while taxpayers and the planet are forced to pick up the bill.

“Yet again the Government have shown their true colours – and they’re certainly not green.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:
1. Aviation policy framework: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/aviation-policy-framework--2
2. Friends of the Earth says the new Aviation Policy Framework is weak, vague and barely different from the Aviation White Paper produced a decade ago.
On climate change the policy:
- States that national action to curb emissions will only be taken if it can be proved to be ‘cost effective.’ (page 41).
- Relies on international agreements which have so far proved ineffective in curbing aviation’s growing emissions of climate changing gases.
- Dodges setting a national target to control aviation’s emissions (page 47)
- Relies on more unfulfilled promises by the aviation industry itself that technical advances in engine and aircraft design will reduce emissions when these remain and very long and vague prospects (page 48)
On air pollution, the policy:
- Says the Government is ‘committed to achieving full compliance with European air quality standards’ (page 64) and yet the UK has failed to meet the timescale to comply with those standards and, as a result, air quality in London and many areas across the UK routinely breaches health standards risking the UK being fined.  

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust