CAMPAIGNERS against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion have joined 15 other national and community campaign groups calling for an immediate halt to all UK airport expansion plans.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) said the Government recently announced it has accepted the advice of its expert climate advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), and has formally included greenhouse gases from international flights in the UK’s carbon reduction target.

However the campaigners point out that there is currently no national plan for reducing aviation’s greenhouse gases that fits with the UK’s target of reaching carbon net zero by 2050.

So GALBA has signed a letter sent today to Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, and Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who are responsible for determining the fate of many airport expansion plans.

The letter reminds the Government that the CCC has “made it clear that adequate airport capacity already exists to meet the future levels of demand... compatible with... achieving net zero by 2050 and advises therefore that there should be no net increase in airport capacity…”

The letter welcomes “the notice issued to Leeds City Council to postpone sending out a final decision letter while consideration is given to a call-in” and concludes “until the Government has… a net zero plan for the (aviation) sector, including a national strategy for airport capacity which acknowledges and plans for the new carbon constraints, it would only be responsible to impose a blanket moratorium on all airport expansion planning.”

Chair of GALBA, Chris Foren, said: “Putting a halt on all airport expansion plans makes sense. It’s impossible for local decision makers to understand the total climate impact of all these different airport proposals.

"The Government has to step up and take responsibility. We simply cannot afford to miss the target of reaching net zero by 2050.

"The consequences of climate breakdown would be catastrophic for the next generation - our children.

"The good news is that we can make the right choices today to build a better tomorrow. We can invest in good jobs that also fight the climate crisis and create a safer world.”