Can Heathrow airport expansion ever be sustainable?

Even without the planned third runway, the airport is the UK’s largest single source of emissions, says Phoebe Weston

Thursday 27 February 2020 09:04
comments
The £14bn Heathrow ‘masterplan’ includes diverting rivers, rerouting the M25 and building the world’s largest carpark
The £14bn Heathrow ‘masterplan’ includes diverting rivers, rerouting the M25 and building the world’s largest carpark

The expansion of Heathrow is an emblematic issue in the battle to stop climate breakdown. Less than a week after the UK laid landmark legislation to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the country’s largest airport (also the largest single source of UK emissions) unveiled its plans for a third runway.

“This whole absurd situation would almost be funny if we weren’t facing a climate emergency,” said John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK.

The £14bn “masterplan” – released in June – includes diverting rivers, rerouting the M25 and building the world’s largest carpark for 50,000 vehicles, despite no more cars needing to use the airport. The number of flights is set to increase from 480,000 per year to 756,000.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments