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Another airport plans expansion - respond to Bristol consultation by 26 Jan!

With the legal challenge to Heathrow's third runway still ongoing, and Gatwick wanting to expand its operations by stealth, other airports are also eyeing up increased profits without regard to climate damage.

The latest is Bristol.

Bristol airport currently has 8 million passengers a year. It is already planning to increase to 10 million and the current planning application is aiming to increase further, to 12 million by 2026. Although not part of the current application they are clear that eventually, they would like to increase to 20 million passengers every year.

By increasing from 8 to 12 million passengers, the figures they have submitted show the airport's 'operational emissions' increasing by two-thirds, from 945ktCO2/year in 2017 to 1,568ktCO2/year in 2026.

Extraordinarily, this is more than the total CO2 emitted from all other transport, homes, and industry in North Somerset local authority in 2016 (1,211ktCO2) and almost as much as the 1,633kt from the City of Bristol (source).

However, the Environmental Statement for the planning application describes these emissions as 'not significant'. 

The deadline to ask the council to reject planning permission for expansion is Saturday 26 January.

If you sign the 38 Degrees petition, it then takes you automatically to a link to submit an objection to the planning application. You can also comment here (search for 18/P/5118/OUT, then click 'Make a Comment').

Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en

Across North American, First Nations and indigenous peoples have stood in the frontline against fossil fuel development, protecting land, water and climate. The Wet'suwet'en of British Columbia have been blocking TransCanada construction of a fracked gas pipeline across their unceded territories. On Monday 7th January, heavily armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police breached the Gidimt’en clan checkpoint set up to keep pipeline workers out of protected territory, using violence and arresting 14 protectors. TransCanada Corporation are planning to build the $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink mega pipeline to export fracked gas, but hereditary leaders of all five clans of the Wet'suwet'en maintain they have no right to do so on their lands without free, prior and informed consent.

The Unist’ot’en camp and healing centre have been on that site since 2010, originally in resistance to the Enbridge tar sands pipeline. Following the force used on peaceful protesters at the checkpoint,  the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have agreed to open the gates to protect their people from injury or death. They remain determined that the pipeline will not be built and that their land rights will be confirmed in Canada's courts. Full statement

Over 60 solidarity protests have taken place in Canada and around the world (see Facebook for videos and pictures). Below, we took the message of solidarity to the Canadian High Commission, that the world is watching.

Fracking protesters released on appeal

Update: the sentences of all three men have been quashed on appeal as 'manifestly excessive'

“This won’t break us, we will come out stronger. Some may view us as victims, but we refuse to be victimised by this. The real victims will be future generations suffering preventable disasters caused by climate change. Our friends and fellow campaigners outside will continue to fight for a ban on fracking and for a just transition to a renewable and democratically owned energy system” - Roscoe Blevins

In July 2017 a convoy of lorries delivering drilling equipment to the Preston New Road fracking site was spontaneously brought to a halt by protestors. Four men took the opportunity to climb up on top of the cabs of the lorries and between them stayed in occupation for 99 and a half hours, supported by supplies from locals.

On Wednesday 26 September, three of the men were sentenced to prison for this peaceful protest. Roscoe Blevins and Richard Roberts received 16 months immediate custodial sentences. Richard Loizou received 15 months immediate custodial sentences. They can expect to serve half of this time in jail. The rest on licence. 

Julian Brock also received 12 months suspended custodial sentence.

The harshness of these sentences can only be seen as a desperate attempt to quell dissent and protest by an industry that faces increasing public resistance. The defendants were not allowed to speak in court about the reasons for their actions.

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