Socialist Worker

Heathrow expansion plan is a threat to the planet

Issue No. 2134

Big business and trade union leaders formed an unholy alliance this week when they backed the expansion of Heathrow airport. In doing so they stand against widespread opposition from ordinary people in the area around the airport and millions more across the country.

The building of a third runway, and a possible sixth terminal, will increase flights from 480,000 a year to 702,000. This would pump an extra ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

Expansion would demolish 700 homes and make a further 4,000 uninhabitable due to noise.

Gordon Brown and big business are deliberately using the fear generated by the recession to ram through Heathrow expansion. They claim to be acting in the interests of workers and creating jobs.

But the government’s hypocrisy on fighting climate change and protecting jobs is shown by the fact that it is closing its low carbon buildings programme in June. Ending it puts thousands of jobs at risk and undermines the fight against climate change.

We should demand massive government investment in renewable energy and improving public transport – which would create millions of jobs and tackle carbon emissions at the same time.

Climate change poses the biggest threat to the poorest people in the world. Fighting climate change is about defending working class people.

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What We Think
Tue 13 Jan 2009, 18:37 GMT
Issue No. 2134
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