Southampton’s Airport Expansion is not conducive to the health and sustainability of the city’s residents nor its environment. If Southampton City Council is really aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 then they should fully commit to this pledge.
Expansion is a health issue:
The World Health Organisation recommends reducing exposure to noise from aircraft to 45 decibels.
5,600 local people are already exposed to at least 55 decibels of noise.
Airport expansion will not bring that number down. Airport expansion is what will happen unless we object.
Rise in greenhouse gases:
Aviation is becoming responsible for an increasing proportion of greenhouse gas and other emissions. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) identifies several aviation measures to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, including restraint on growth of airports.
Airports can’t be carbon neutral:
Point 1 of the Southampton Green City Charter states “We want to be carbon neutral by 2030”. Carbon neutrality implies there is no carbon impact. The airport predict an increase of 2 million passengers by 2027, it’s likely that most of those people will travel by car to the airport which will increase carbon emissions. The production, transportation and installation of materials for the expansion will most likely be powered by fossil fuels, which will increase carbon emissions. When jet fuel is burned the carbon in the fuel is released and bonds with the oxygen in the air, to form carbon dioxide. All of this means an inevitable carbon impact which flies in the face of SCC’s Green City Charter goal.
Expansion means ecocide :
Ecocide is the destruction of the natural environment as a consequence of human activity. In 2018 Southampton Airport purchased Marlhill Copse, a beautiful diverse and ancient woodland near riverside park that serves as a bountiful habitat for all sorts of life. Expansion means some of these trees will be felled (cut down) to make way for heavier, louder aircraft. We have to stand up for these defenceless ecosystems! In a time when we need less carbon in the atmosphere, a plan for fewer trees and more emission intense aircraft does not fit.
The airport says it is just responding to the demand for flying. However responsible institutions should not be caving into consumer demand at a time of international and national climate crisis. That was why there was rationing in Britain and elsewhere during the second world war. Flying should be rationed at a time of national emergency. In the 1940’s the UK Ministry of Information used the slogan “Is your journey really necessary?”