Environmental activists have reacted with disbelief and barely disguised scorn at the announcement that Croydon Council has accepted a £75,000 sponsorship from Gatwick Airport for the borough’s newest youth centre.
Extinction Rebellion protests around the capital earlier this year brought traffic in the capital to a standstill as they called for rapid elimination of the use of carbon fuels in an effort to halt catastrophic damage to the environment.
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in October 2018, was quite clear. We have just 11 years left to deliver the “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities”, and we need to prevent going past the tipping points where we can no longer avoid extreme weather events.
And activists were also noisily present in July at Croydon Town Hall, when the Labour-run council determined its was politically expedient to declare a climate emergency in the borough. It’s just that they set tehmselves a target date for Croydon being Zero Carbon which cannot possibly be achieved, as long as the council has a 25-year contract with Viridor to burn rubbish at the Beddington Lane incinerator.
Then this week, Gatwick Airport – which wants to double its runway capacity – announced that it has agreed to sponsor Croydon’s Legacy Youth Zone with £25,000 a year through to 2021.
Croydon Extinction Rebellion reacted to the announcement, revealed exclusively by Inside Croydon, by saying, “The most immediate impact of a new Gatwick runway on Croydon would be increased noise pollution levels.
“If the Heathrow runway also goes ahead alongside this expansion, many planes will have their flight paths diverted over the borough.
“On the larger scale, more flights will mean higher levels of atmospheric pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The government has committed to being Zero Carbon by 2050, and Croydon Council recently declared a climate emergency.
“This is simply incompatible with airport expansion, as the aviation sector accounts for around 12 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, and a new runway at Gatwick would mean this could only rise.
“Professor Kevin Anderson has said, ‘If the richest 10 per cent in Europe were to simply reduce their emissions to the EU average, it would result in a 33 per cent reduction in emissions’.
“In order to ‘Tell the Truth’ on the climate crisis, we must accept that aviation has to shrink as a sector in the next decade,” they said.
Of course, “Telling the truth” on any issue is an increasingly challenging ask for Croydon’s council leader Tony Newman and his loyal numpties.
Currently, Newman and his Labour council have these notable environmentally unfriendly policies…
- Support for the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport – where Newman believes that solar-powered aircraft will resolve his pollution dilemma for him
- A commitment to paying £10million per year to burn the borough’s rubbish, including material which should be recycled, at a polluting incinerator at Beddington, where Croydon has a contract with the operators which includes disposing of radioactive waste
- Backing the building of a £1.4billion shopping mall – all that steel and concrete! – which will attract an estimated 10,000 cars and their exhaust fumes into the town centre daily
- Systematically concreting over playing fields, kids’ playgrounds and patches of green land in its drive to build homes, the majority of which are going for private sale.
None of which adds up to a local authority that is either serious, or can be trusted, on the environment.
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