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Steve Parsons/PA Wire
heathrow airpot steve parsons pa wire.jpg
Steve Parsons/PA Wire
UK News

Christian Aid reacts to Heathrow third runway decision

by Premier Journalist

Christian Aid has responded to the controversial Court of Appeal's judgment which ruled that construction of a third runway at Heathrow would be illegal in light of pressing climate change concerns. 

The ruling criticised the government for failing to take into account its commitment to curbing carbon emissions when penning the sprawling £14bn construction plan. 

"The Paris agreement ought to have been taken into account by the secretary of state," Lord Justice Lindblom said. "The national planning statement was not produced as the law requires."

Christian Aid's global lead on climate change, Dr Kat Kramer, said called it a "powerful judgement that will be relevant to future policy decisions with climate change implications.

"Parliament has put a net zero target into national law, the public are on the streets calling for greater action to address the climate crisis and the spotlight will be on the government as hosts of this year's UN climate summit in November

"It is now up to the government, to have any national and international credibility on climate change, to shelve any plans to expand Heathrow and any other polluting infrastructure.

"The UK is one of the largest historical emitters and needs to act in solidarity with the world's poorest and most vulnerable, who suffer the greatest impacts of climate change, by cutting its carbon emissions quickly and deeply."

The government's original plan would have seen a third runway in action by 2028, with 700 more planes running through the airport on a daily basis. 

Climate activists argued that the plan was in direct contradiction with the government's aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

Heathrow already transports some 80 million passengers per year and is one of the busiest airports in the world. The building project would involve rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the new runway, and even diverting a number of rivers. 

Now, the government must decide whether or not to scrap the plans entirely or put together a new policy document to approve the runway. 

Transport secretary Grant Shapps, said: "Our manifesto makes clear any Heathrow expansion will be industry-led. Airport expansion is core to boosting global connectivity and levelling up across the UK. We also take seriously our commitment to the environment." 

It is understood that the government will not appeal the verdict. 

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