NOW that the Government has adopted the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations on carbon targets, they have accepted that any expansion of Heathrow will need to be offset by restrictions and closures of regional airports.
The Government’s carbon policy advisers had already stated that there would be no room for a net expansion of aviation in the sixth carbon budget.
Yet, now, the Government has not only committed to reducing carbon emissions by 78 per cent (against 1990 levels) in advance of 2035; but, for the very first time, it is demanding that aviation emissions are included within targets for reductions.
So any future expansion of Heathrow, in the already economically advantaged South East, would need to be offset by restrictions, such a reductions in operations, or closures at regional airports across the UK.
This could include airports across the North of England. The carbon budget’s mathematics confirms Heathrow expansion will render it necessary.
Such a policy would of course represent an abandonment of the Government’s levelling-up agenda.