It is difficult to credit the irresponsibility of the nine Leeds Councillors who approved an extension to flights at Leeds Bradford airport on 11th February. Five others voted against. The decision, if not overturned, goes against the government Climate Change Committee’s advice not to increase flights in the UK AND the West Yorkshire Combined Authority commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2038. Leeds City Council has not only signed up for this but has gone even further in aiming for net-zero by 2030.
It seems these nine were persuaded by businesses who painted a gloomy future for Yorkshire entrepreneurs without an expanded airport, and decided to vote instead for a gloomy future for everyone. As the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport says, this is not the end of the story. Hopefully the idea of prosperity based on sustainability gets a better hold among businesses and councillors alike. Which word in ‘Climate emergency’ do they not understand?