27th July 2010

July 27th 2010

Upcoming events

End Domestic Flights! 

On 4th September the Campaign against Climate Change is holding demonstrations in Manchester and London with partners AirportWatch, Plane Stupid and Newham Fight the Flights. The morning begins with a demo outside London City Airport, following which demonstrators can take a train to Manchester to join with the campaigners calling for a stop to the proposed expansion of Manchester Airport. A party for activists follows the demo.


11.00 am  Demonstration outside City Airport, London (take the DLR at Bank to get to the ‘London City Airport’ stop on the Woolwich line)

12.30 pm  “Train-not-plane” party board the big red (open top double decker) ‘End Domestic Flights’ bus which takes the message through the streets of London to Euston station.

1.40 pm  "Train-not-plane" brigade boards the Manchester train at Euston.

3.49 pm  “Train-not-plane” party arrives at  Manchester Piccadilly station

4.30 pm  Demonstration at Manchester Airport . More info info[at]stopmanchesterairport.org.uk

Evening  - Party, party, party for aviation activists at Hasty Lane near Manchester airport - in a street threatened by airport expansion. Accommodation will be organised for those staying overnight.

Join us on the special  "Train-not plane" carriage on the 1.40pm train!  Take the big red bus from the City Airport demo to Euston station and then join our special “train-not-plane” carriage on the 1.40 train to Manchester. A fiver will get you to Manchester Airport taking our special carriage – first come first served for available seats. To book a ticket click here.

But remember, you need to get back from Manchester!  The sooner you book the cheaper the return to London!  You can return from Manchester Saturday night or party in Manchester and return Sunday morning.  Return to London by train is £11.50 if booked well enough in advance, or around £5.50 on Megabus.  The last trains back from Manchester to London on Saturday leave Manchester Piccadilly at 19.37 and 20.35.

Any queries?  E-mail enddomesticflights@campaigncc.org


But before then…

‘Why We Should End Domestic Flights Now: aviation in the era of climate emergency’

Public Meeting on August 11th at SOAS, room G2
(School of Oriental and African Studies), Thornhaugh Street, off Russell Square. Map here.

Speakers will include John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch, Dan Glass from Plane Stupid, Anne Marie Griffin, chair of Fight the Flights, and Campaign against Climate Change’s National Co-ordinator Phil Thornhill lead the discussion on ‘Why We Should End Domestic Flights Now: aviation in the era of climate emergency’. We’re looking for your input on how we can campaign to force the Government to take action on domestic flights. Stick 11th August in your diary now. See more here.


National Demonstration against Agrofuels

Saturday 25th September

Stop subsidising Agrofuels and deforestation

At the site of the proposed new palm-oil burning, agrofuel power station at Portland in Dorset.

Transport will be organised from London and possibly other places. If you are interested in joining the coach from London (to Portland for the day) please contact stopagrofuels@campaigncc.org

Provisional Timetable:

9.00 am: Bus leaves London for Portland

1.00 pm: Assemble for march

2.00 - 3.00 pm: Rally outside port gates (site of proposed plant)

3.00 pm:  Workshops and entertainment in local hall

8.00 pm: Bus sets off back to London.                                  

Camping/crash space will be available overnight.

The demonstration will be organised together with Biofuelwatch, Food not Fuel and a very strong local group, down in Dorset - NOPE (No Palm Oil Energy) see nope.org.uk

Agrofuels – take action

In February this year, Bristol City Council rejected an application for a palm oil power station. An appeal against the decision will be heard at a public enquiry.  However, the Planning Inspectorate has so far ruled that the wider impacts of biofuels are not relevant.  Ask the Secretary of State to step in and allow the climate change impact to be considered. www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/w4bjul2010.php

If you are in Bristol, there will be a demonstration outside the enquiry meeting on 10 August – and don’t forget the national demonstration in Dorset on 25 September (transport from London).  For more about these and other actions to help stop a rash of UK power stations running on palm oil and other environmentally destructive fuels see here: biofuels

Action for the Climate Emergency

Public meeting, Friends House, London
Saturday October 30th 2010

Speakers now including John McDonnell MP (Labour), Caroline Lucas MP (leader, Green Party), Andrew Simms (New Economics Foundation), Maria Souviron (the Bolivian ambassador), Alexis Rowell (Camden CAN) – and many more to be announced in further newsletters.


Event report

The Zero Carbon Britain Report – is this our blueprint for the future?

Peter Harper and Stephen Murphy from the Zero Carbon Britain team presented a compelling case for the report, with Peter explaining the land use section in especial detail. They then answered answered a host of questions and comments from the floor in a lively discussion.

Topics covered (besides land use changes) included the intelligent use of energy, renewable energy generation, the infrastructure that we will need to develop, and positive effects on the economy. A comprehensive and radical approach could - given the necessary injection of  collective will from the public - result in an actual increase in the quality of life as well as being an effective way to prevent catastrophic climate change.

We recorded the main presentation and Q&A sessions and have uploaded them as MP3s, they're perfect for listening to on the train.
Main presentation (47mins, 43MB MP3).
Q&A session (55mins, 19MB MP3).

A copy of the slides shown in the presentation is here: scr.bi/bzicrW so you can watch the presentation while listening to the audio.


Domestic flights

In order for the UK to make the cuts the threat of global warming demand, major steps are required to reduce the amount of carbon the UK emits. UK Government has targeted 30% cuts by 2020, currently pushing other European countries to commit to this target. Even more ambitious targets are necessary to reduce the risk of climate change, but what is really lacking is not targets but practical policies to achieve short-term cuts.

Flying is by far the most inefficient (in carbon emission terms) mode of transport, particularly for short-haul flights, because the energy required to take off and land is proportionately greater. Flying is twice as energy consuming as road travel, and depending on the type of train taken up to 5 times more inefficient than rail travel. The emitting of carbon at altitude by planes is thought to be between 1.9 to 2.7 times more damaging to the environment than at ground level.

The UK has a good rail and road transport network and so there is little need for domestic flights. The most popular domestic route out of Heathrow is to Manchester, which is only a couple of hours away by train. Trains are currently overpriced, but if government subsidies were removed from aviation and road expansion schemes and invested in rail, this trend could be reversed. With investment to improve the rail and coach network and a reduction in the cost of rail travel, banning domestic flights is an easy win removing 2.2 Mt CO2straight away from the UK’s emissions. WWF has said Government officials alone cutting out UK domestic flights would reduce carbon emissions by 59,000 tonnes annually.

There is support for banning domestic flights from the major government parties. The current Transport Secretary Philip Hammond in a recent FT interview has said “Domestic flying in the UK will become in time a thing of the past”. Previous Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in June 2009 "I would like to see domestic and short-haul flights largely replaced by high-speed rail”. The Liberal Democrat’s Campaign promise of Per Plane Tax rather than Per Person Tax on the aviation industry was a step to reduce domestic flights by making other forms of domestic travel more competitive.

There is support from all the political parties to find alternatives to domestic flights but the action is not coming soon enough. We need your support to put pressure on the Government to Ban Domestic Flights now!


Coalition’s ‘green’ claims undermined by budget cuts

The government’s budget cuts have been announced, dealing a blow to hopes that the transition to a low-carbon economy might be prioritised. The Department of Energy and Climate Change reveals £34m cuts to low-carbon technology programme. The cuts include:

  • £6.1 million from “programme budgets within DECC”;
  • £4.7 million from “cancelling the final funding rounds of the Bio-Energy Capital Grants Scheme and the Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme”;
  • £3 million from the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme;
  • £2.9 million from the Central Government Low Carbon Technology Programme by cutting.
  • funding for development of deep geothermal energy generation halved from £2 million to £1 million;
  • the Energy Saving Trust technology trials will be closed, cutting £700,000 from the £3 million pound programme; and
  • The Carbon Trust will receive a £12.6 million cut to this year’s grant for low carbon technology and business support funding;
  • Plans announced under the last government to use around £1 billion from asset sales for early-stage equity investment in green energy projects have been scrapped
  • The Foreign Office’s budget for climate diplomacy which helps other countries to cut carbon and promotes the UK’s green industry has also been cut by £3 million.

There has been particular anger at the announcement that the Sustainable Development Commission will be axed. Costing £3 million a year, the commission’s last report showed that measures so far to save energy and water and reduce waste have cut the state's annual bills by £60m to £70m, while hundreds of millions of pounds could be saved if its recommendations are followed. The government has been accused of seeking to end independent and critical scrutiny from the SDC of its claims to be ‘green’.

In the words of Johann Hari “David Cameron hugged the huskies in opposition. But as soon as he got into government, he walked them into the Downing Street garden, and shot them in the head.”

Take action

Friends of the Earth is asking people to email the Secretary of State for Local Government to save a pilot project to help councils cut carbon from being axed. www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/press_for_change/local_carbon_frameworks_24034.html

They also want people to email the Secretary of State for the Environment asking her to cut spending and carbon emissions by axing waste incineration projects www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/biodiversity/press_for_change/incineration_24662.html

The Bus Service Operators Grant, the only direct national funding for buses, is also under threat.  The Campaign for Better Transport warns of ‘Beeching-style cuts’.  www.bettertransport.org.uk/take_action/protect-buses


Climate change in the news


The Committee on Climate Change’s latest reports states that without financial support, low carbon technologies will never reach market and the UK will be left behind by China.

The Institute For Fiscal Studies has calculated that the proportion of tax revenue raised by green taxes is likely to fall - breaking a Conservative election pledge.

As figures for councils’ carbon footprints are published, the government announced that councils will now be able to sell back green energy to the National Grid.

Animal feed imported from South America to the UK is causing the destruction of tropical rainforests, a Friends of the Earth study reveals.
(You can support the FoE campaign here: www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/biodiversity/press_for_change/back_sustainable_livestock_bill_24522.html)

A campaign success for Greenpeace as HSBC has sold its shares in Sinar Mas, an Indonesian company involved in illegal deforestation

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has refused to rule out a train ticket price hike of up to 10%.



The US Senate will not pass a full climate bill in its current session, a major blow to prospects of achieving a new global deal on climate change through the UN talks.

Record-breaking global temperatures continue with last month the hottest June recorded worldwide, and 2010 on course to be warmest year since records began.

ExxonMobil gave $1.5M to climate denial groups last year, breaking pledge to stop such funding

The UK, France and Germany have called on other EU member states to support EU 30%emissions cuts target