I had no idea how much pollution airlines are causing

Aound the world, in country after country, we're seeing the same thing: the companies that profit most from extracting and burning fossil fuels are putting a stranglehold on our political leaders. With climate politics deadlocked, 350.org are trying something new: directly targeting the companies standing in the way of progress.

Emissions from airlines blanket communities, causing heart failure, asthma, and other lung diseases. Airlines already accounts for 5 percent of global warming pollution, and aviation emissions are skyrocketing. If nothing is done, airline pollution is expected to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2050.

Last month, governments from around the world met to negotiate a program to cap airline pollution. But the airline industry, led by United, has spent millions lobbying to weaken standards.

A high level group of an intergovernmental panel known as the International Civil Aviation Organization (or ICAO) met in Montreal last month to design a system to reduce air travel’s footprint on the climate. They will release proposed rules in June, and a vote will be held in September. But United and other airlines have unleashed a horde of lobbyists, PR flacks, and “experts” to muscle the ICAO into making those rules as toothless as possible.

This isn’t the first time United has declared war on sensible environmental regulation. Last year, the European Union passed a law requiring airlines to improve their energy efficiency or buy pollution permits at a cost of just $3 per passenger. United responded by lobbying aggressively to get the U.S. Congress to pass a bill that prohibits U.S.-based airlines from complying with the EU’s efficiency standards and forces American taxpayers to foot the bill for the resulting fines.

United’s CEO Jeff Smisek wrote an op-ed in Hemispheres, his company’s in-flight magazine, arguing that the EU had no right to regulate flights taking off and landing in Europe.

Even other airlines think that United is extreme in its uncompromising opposition to all emissions standards. And in the highly competitive airline industry, United can’t afford a reputation as the anti-environment airline. If enough people call United out, it will have to stand down, and we’ll have a much better shot at controlling one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse emissions.

Sign the petition to United Airlines. Demand an end to its anti-environment lobbying.

This blog has been re-posted from 350.org

New animation: Carbon Omissions

Put together by Plane Stupid's very own activist and animator Leo Murray, 'Carbon Omissions' addresses the fact that UK emissions are soaring if you take into account emissions created by us but outside of UK borders.

The animation has the support of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas among others.

George Monbiot summarises the message well:

"The carbon cuts we have made so far... have been achieved by means of a simple device: allowing other countries, principally China, to run polluting industries on our behalf."

For more information you can check out the website: http://carbonomissions.org.uk/

Latest video from the ZAD


This is a hugely evocative video of protests against new Nantes Airport. Farmers, activists & residents campaigning together.

The date for everyones diaries is May 11th when they are planning their biggest mass action ever and are looking to get 100,000 people (remember they got 40,000 last year) to symbolically surround the land that would be needed for the airport.

All info here with translation to English: http://zad.nadir.org/?lang=en

Big business to sue climate activists

No Dash for Gas, a group of activists who closed down an EDF gas-fired power station for a week last October, are being sued for £5 million by EDF.

Joss Garman from Plane Stupid said,

“I hope all the people living near an airport are concerned about this attack on the right to protest – if companies bring million pound law suits against activists, then people whose homes are threatened will have one less tool to defend themselves, and the legal system will shift even further in the favour of corporate money.

If this had been going on five years ago, there’d be a third runway at Heathrow by now and probably a second one at Stansted.”

No Dash For Gas website: www.NoDashforGas.org.uk

Third birthday for third runway squatters


With the arrival of March, Grow Heathrow will turn 3 years old – it’s time to celebrate!

Come along for a day of feasting, music, cake competitions, swap shops, arts and crafts, seed sewing, free yoga lesson and celebrations. Bring your friends, family and an entry for the cake competition on Saturday 2nd March, from 1.30 sharp.

Contact: info@transitionheathrow.com

Re-posted from the Transition Heathrow blog

Tens of thousands re-occupy the ZAD


On Saturday Le Monde reported that an incredible 25,000 activists took direct action to reoccupy the site of a proposed airport in Nantes, France.

Some protesters had been evicted from their squats. The amazing reoccupation united local farmers who risk losing their land with climate activists and thousands of protesters concerned about cost, pollution and noise.

We have been inspired by the passionate grassroots support for local people’s struggle to take their lives into their own hands and say, “no” to an unaffordable, polluting airport being built on their homes and farms. Check out these beautiful photos of the ZAD and you’ll wish you were there too.

For more information about the ZAD, visit zad.nadir.org.

This blog was re-posted from the Transition Heathrow website.