Dozens of climate change protesters have staged a “die-in” to protest against plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport.

The protest, which involved protesters lying on the ground outside the Leeds Civic Hall entrance, was organised by campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

The organisation also presented a deputation to today’s full Leeds City Council meeting, as many feel plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport is incompatible with the council’s recent declaration.

Campaigner Dru Long told the meeting: “Leeds City Council has declared a climate emergency, meaning the council must take immediate action.

“What matters is how much greenhouse gas we put into the atmosphere. Skipping one round trip from New York to London is the equivalent of recycling everything in your house for eight years.

“Urgent and unprecedented action is necessary. In March 2019, Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency, committing Leeds to carbon neutrality by 2030.

“The Government is encouraging expansion of regional airports, the owners of Leeds Bradford Airport want to increase passenger numbers to 9 million by 2050. Leeds City Council has welcomed these proposals and want to invest £100 million to improve roads to the airport.

“As a group of Leeds citizens, we believe the aims of the airport are fundamentally incompatible with climate change emergency in Leeds.

“Leeds must reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, and the airport development is incompatible with delivering this future.

“It makes no sense to destroy our urban green spaces and the carbon sinks they provide.”

“Across the world investment in carbon reducing industries are providing sustainable profits and employment.

“We understand meeting the requirements for LCC to meet climate emergency is not easy. It requires difficult decisions and courageous vision from our leaders.”

A chorus of “No more planes!” then erupted from the public gallery, and continued for around a minute.

Outside the meeting, one protester said: “We are here today to say to Leeds City Council that they can no longer support the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport.

“We are living in a climate emergency and it is simply inconceivable that we can allow air travel to expand when we actually need to reduce people flying as much as possible.

“It’s incompatible with Leeds City Council’s declaration of a climate emergency that they can support the continued expansion of the airport.”