Public support for Quality of Life commission

A report by pollsters Ipsos-Mori confirms what environmentalists have been saying all along: high levels of popular support for the green agenda.

The report, Public finds much to support in Conservative's new Green Agenda, explored a number of potential Tory policies, and found widespread support for green taxation: 62% of people support the 'polluter pays' principle, while only 10% oppose it.

More planes = more emissions


Once again the aviation industry has failed to get its sums right, as BA's attempts to greenwash their recent purchase of a bunch of mega-planes fails to ring true.

BA purchased 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Dreamliners, totalling 36 planes. Willie Walsh justified the purchase, stating that "These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance in the key areas of carbon dioxide emissions, local air quality and noise."

Ruth Kelly acts decisively...

STOP PRESS: Ruth Kelly has today announced that the UK "acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme".

Sounds great - but what did they actually do? "At the ICAO Assembly, delegates from other countries expressed their wish to move forward on the basis of an international consensus, but insisted on an approach that would have effectively prevented the EU from introducing an emissions trading scheme for non-EU flights."

DfT / aviation industry meetings

A Freedom of Information request published in July 2007 reveals just how close BAA and the DfT have become over the years.

Between July 2002 and April 2007, BAA met with the DfT no less than 117 times, including 24 meetings with the Secretary of State and at least 33 meetings with the Head of Airports Policy, Jonathan Sharrock.

All in all, the DfT met with airlines and airport operators 342 times between 2002 and April 2007. Unfortunately the FOI request doesn't tell us how many times the environment came up - but I'm willing to bet it wasn't a top priority.

Greens and aviation industry clash at Labour Party conference

Earlier this week I spoke at the Climate Clinic. This report is from DeHavilland:

Representatives of environmental groups and the aviation industry have clashed over the need to restrict access to air travel.

Speaking at the Labour conference at a fringe event 'Does business need bigger airports?' were Brian Wilson, chairman of flying matters, Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, Roger Wiltshire, director general of the British Air Transport Association, Dr Doug Parr of Greenpeace, Joss Garman of Plane Stupid and Charles Secrett of the Mayor of London's Office.

Ex-aviation minister slams industry

Ex-aviation minister Gillian Merron, now at the Cabinet Office, spent last week chatting with her European peers in Lisbon.

In an unexpected development she waded into the climate change debate, denouncing an industry that "is responsible for about 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions each year - that's between 2 and 4% of global energy."

Clearly something must be done! Thanks, Gillian, for recognising that despite only emitting a fraction globally, this industry must still be tackled. It's what Plane Stupid has been saying all along!

[Edit: turns out the industry in question is IT...]