Letter: Greens not for airport expansion

I challenge the Gazette’s inaccurate and misleading claim that “all South Tyneside’s political groups” (Gazette, 19th January) support expansion at Newcastle Airport.  South Tyneside Green Party would not support an irresponsible policy of encouraging growth in aviation at a time when CO2 emissions should be reduced, not actively encouraged.

Passenger growth means more flights which inevitably means more CO2 emissions, which is contrary to the claimed intentions of our government and council.  An increase in flights would mean more lives blighted by aircraft noise and particulate emissions.  Aviation growth is environmentally unsustainable.

The economic argument doesn’t stack up either.  In 2004 the North East region suffered a massive economic deficit of £761m due to aviation.  If the airport expansion goes ahead, this could rise to £1.5bn.  Airport expansion is bad news for regional economies.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Labour and the Tories kneel together before corporate self-interest and lobbyists at the expense of people and the environment.  Their support for airport expansion is a startling example of economic and environmental incompetence.  The casual disregard which South Tyneside councillors show towards those living under the flight path is contemptible.

Any claims that they give a stuff about climate change are the same as their aviation policy – pie in the sky.

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