4 September 2019
Green Party councillors from across Leeds City region have called for an ends to publicly funded support for Leeds Bradford Airport.
Up to £100 million of pubic money could be used to fund new road build schemes to facilitate airport expansion – with more being pledged to fund other public transport links.
In an open letter to members of the Leeds City Board, Green Party Councillors in the region demanded this funded to be withdrawn.
Councillor Andrew Cooper, Leader of the Green group on Kirklees Council said: “Public money should not be used to fund the pollution of our planet by commercial companies.
“Only a few weeks ago Leeds City Region and its constituent Councils declared a Climate Emergency in response to the stark warnings on the threat of climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and we only have a limited amount of time to bring our emissions under control.
“It is bizarre that under these circumstances – and with the significant change in public opinion – that we are even considering using tax payers money in this way.
The Green Party wants to see an increase in funding for public transport solutions to ensure that more people in the Leeds City region have access to affordable, safe and sustainable ways of getting around.
These concerns have also been raised by academic from University of Leeds.
In their report, Jefim Vogel and Yannick Oswald, both PhD researchers in ecological economics, and Joel Millward-Hopkins, a postdoctoral researcher in sustainability, warned that local authorities shouldn’t pass the buck on airport expansion saying that environmental targets “sit uncomfortably alongside plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport” [Article available here].
Councillor Cooper added: “£100 million could be spent on more reliable bus services or even new tram and train links across the region.”
The organisation Environmental Protection UK has highlighted that the aviation industry is a 'significant source of carbon dioxide emissions' and says it 'presents a major threat to Government targets in terms of emissions growth'.
The organisation, has also highlighted ongoing concerns about nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5s), that are made up of components such as sulphate, nitrates and ammonia.