Thursday, November 27, 2008

Climate change watchdog backs expansion of Heathrow

UK could meet its ambitious pledge to slash greenhouse gas pollution even if ministers give the go-ahead to expanding Heathrow airport, the government's leading climate change adviser has signalled.

This week the chairman of the government's Environment Agency, Lord Smith of Finsbury, joined critics who say that adding a third runway at Britain's biggest airport would destroy the government's promise to tackle climate change, and increase local air and noise pollution to intolerable levels.

But when asked about the contentious Heathrow plan, Lord Turner, chairman of the independent Climate Change Committee, told the Guardian that it would be possible for aviation to be expanded while still meeting the target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the middle of this century, especially if airlines were able to use biofuels or other low-carbon power sources.
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[The time will come when commercial interests must give way to the greater good, to saving the biosphere, the environment and future generations. Ed.]