Heathrow expansion - did your MP vote for climate action or climate breakdown?

In 2008, the House of Commons voted on the Climate Change Act. It passed almost unanimously across all parties, with just six MPs voting against. 

Ten years later, MPs have faced another significant vote: whether to increase aviation emissions by building a new runway at Heathrow. It was a clear choice between climate action or climate destruction. And MPs voted for the latter, 415 to 119 in favour.

Campaigners, while expecting a defeat, were nonetheless appalled by the scale of it, asking how avoiding catastrophic climate change could be so lightly set aside by so many. While the Conservatives faced a three-line whip, and SNP at the last minute changed their promised support to abstention, Labour MPs had a free vote. 119 of them voted for Heathrow expansion. 

Did they not understand that this would make it very unlikely we could meet our climate targets (the UK Climate Change Act, let alone the more stringent requirements of the Paris deal)? Despite government assertions to the contrary, the evidence was clear on this. The Committee on Climate Change explained that to allow aviation emissions to grow beyond the limit they had set would blow our carbon budgets. And the experts patiently pointed out that all theories of how a third runway could be built without breaching these were completely implausible or impossible. 

One problem was that campaigners and academics did not succeed in overcoming the vast sums of money poured by Heathrow Ltd into lobbying, and the support of influential union Unite, to expose the flaws in the perceived economic argument. Most MPs believed that there was a strong economic case for expansion - very far from the truth. 

But even if they were convinced that abandoning a significant pillar of our national responsibility to tackle climate change would literally pave the streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester with gold, MPs should value our climate commitments beyond this. Despite reports published just before the vote that Antarctic ice had accelerated, melting three times as fast, it is clear that the vast majority of MPs simply lack any sense of peril to human civilisation as we know it. Nor do they understand the immediacy of climate change - the deadly combination of global warming and economic injustice is already killing people around the world. If they had, they would not have voted to emit, every year, additional CO2 equivalent to that of a small country, when we are already failing to meet our climate targets.

They have surely been helped in this sense of complacency and insulation from reality by mainstream media. This almost universally framed the choice facing MPs as national economic benefit vs local air pollution - at best a vague mention of 'environmental concerns'.

So who voted which way? Credit to the eight Conservative MPs who went against their party whip and voted against, even if climate change may not have been at the top of their minds (for example Justine Greening managed to write an article - eight reasons to oppose Heathrow expansion - without mentioning climate). All were representing their constituents' concerns around Heathrow with the exception of David Amess, MP for Southend West.

Plaid Cymru all voted against. SNP abstained. Unfortunately, abstaining from climate change is not an option.

With Labour MPs having a free vote, and Labour leaders advising that a third runway did not meet their climate (or other) tests for support, those who voted for, or abstained became a depressing roll call.

Honourable mention goes to John McDonnell who spoke eloquently in debate against a third runway - unsurprisingly since he is a long-time opponent, as did Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary. Clive Lewis wrote an excellent article urging his colleagues to vote against, and of course Caroline Lucas of the Green Party has been a voice of sanity throughout.

Constituents who urged their MPs to vote against may have felt they were ignored, but at least one MP was persuaded by his constituents - Darren Jones (Bristol North West) appears to have been persuaded by personal appeals to vote 'no'.

Others who have spoken out fervently against social injustice (such as David Lammy) voted in favour of a third runway and appeared not to realise that this meant voting for not just local but global injustice affecting the poorest around the world on a massive scale.

Of those who have signed the Climate Coalition's current letter urging the government to strengthen our climate targets to reach net zero before 2050, a majority actually voted for the third runway. This included Labour MPs Ben Bradshaw, Alex Cunningham, Paul Farrelly, Kate Green, Harriet Harman, George Howarth, Peter Kyle, John Mann, Siobhain McDonagh, Catherine McKinnell, Madeleine Moon, Toby Perkins, Virendra Sharma and Jeff Smith who chose to do so on a free vote. A particular disappointment was Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, choosing to abstain despite stating that the environmental case against was 'unconscionable'.

Not all hope is lost on the third runway: it may well never be built as the councils of Wandsworth, Richmond, Hillingdon and Hammersmith and Fulham, together with Mayor of Lonodn, Sadiq Khan, and Greenpeace, are launching a judical review. And yet the future looks bleak. We have been shown how much our elected representatives value a safe and stable climate for future generations, how much they value security of livelihood, food and water for the poorest across the planet. And the answer seems to be "Not much".

Find out how your MP voted below. If you don't know who your MP is, you can find out here. MPs whose names do not appear may have deliberately abstained or been unavoidably absent - Kerry McCarthy, for example, explained on Twitter that she was away and opposed the third runway but had been 'paired'. (Pairing is an arrangement between two MPs of opposing intentions  to not vote in a particular division. This enables an MP to be absent without affecting the result of the vote as they effectively cancel each other out.)

Conservative – against

Afriyie Adam
Amess Sir David
Blackman Bob
Goldsmith Zac
Greening Justine
Hands Greg
Offord Dr Matthew
Villiers Theresa
 

Conservative – for

Adams Nigel
Afolami Bim
Aldous Peter
Allan Lucy
Allen Heidi
Andrew Stuart
Argar Edward
Atkins Victoria
Bacon Mr Richard
Badenoch Mrs Kemi
Baker Mr Steve
Baldwin Harriett
Barclay Stephen
Baron Mr John
Bebb Guto
Bellingham Sir Henry
Benyon rh Richard
Beresford Sir Paul
Berry Jake
Blunt Crispin
Boles Nick
Bone Mr Peter
Bottomley Sir Peter
Bowie Andrew
Bradley Ben
Bradley rh Karen
Brady Sir Graham
Braverman Suella
Brereton Jack
Bridgen Andrew
Brine Steve
Brokenshire rh James
Bruce Fiona
Buckland Robert
Burghart Alex
Burns Conor
Burt rh Alistair
Cairns rh Alun
Cartlidge James
Cash Sir William
Caulfield Maria
Chalk Alex
Chishti Rehman
Chope Sir Christopher
Churchill Jo
Clark Colin
Clark rh Greg
Clarke Mr Simon
Clarke rh Mr Kenneth
Cleverly James
Clifton-Brown Sir Geoffrey
Coffey Dr Thérèse
Collins Damian
Costa Alberto
Courts Robert
Cox Mr Geoffrey
Crabb rh Stephen
Crouch Tracey
Davies Chris
Davies David T. C.
Davies Glyn
Davies Mims
Davies Philip
Davis rh Mr David
Dinenage Caroline
Djanogly Mr Jonathan
Docherty Leo
Donelan Michelle
Double Steve
Dowden Oliver
Doyle-Price Jackie
Drax Richard
Duddridge James
Duguid David
Duncan Smith rh Mr Iain
Duncan rh Sir Alan
Dunne Mr Philip
Ellis Michael
Ellwood rh Mr Tobias
Eustice George
Evans Mr Nigel
Evennett rh Sir David
Fabricant Michael
Fallon rh Sir Michael
Field rh Mark
Ford Vicky
Foster Kevin
Fox rh Dr Liam
Francois rh Mr Mark
Frazer Lucy
Fysh Mr Marcus
Garnier Mark
Gauke rh Mr David
Ghani Ms Nusrat
Gibb rh Nick
Glen John
Gove rh Michael
Graham Luke
Graham Richard
Grant Bill
Grant Mrs Helen
Gray James
Grayling rh Chris
Green Chris
Green rh Damian
Grieve rh Mr Dominic
Griffiths Andrew
Gyimah Mr Sam
Hair Kirstene
Halfon rh Robert
Hall Luke
Hancock rh Matt
Harper rh Mr Mark
Harrington Richard
Harris Rebecca
Harrison Trudy
Hart Simon
Hayes rh Mr John
Heald rh Sir Oliver
Heappey James
Heaton-Harris Chris
Heaton-Jones Peter
Henderson Gordon
Herbert rh Nick
Hinds rh Damian
Hoare Simon
Hollingbery George
Hollinrake Kevin
Hollobone Mr Philip
Holloway Adam
Huddleston Nigel
Hughes Eddie
Hunt rh Mr Jeremy
Jack Mr Alister
James Margot
Javid rh Sajid
Jayawardena Mr Ranil
Jenkin Sir Bernard
Jenkyns Andrea
Jenrick Robert
Johnson Dr Caroline
Johnson Gareth
Johnson Joseph
Jones Andrew
Jones Mr Marcus
Jones rh Mr David
Kawczynski Daniel
Keegan Gillian
Kennedy Seema
Kerr Stephen
Knight Julian
Knight rh Sir Greg
Kwarteng Kwasi
Lamont John
Lancaster rh Mark
Leadsom rh Andrea
Lee Dr Phillip
Lefroy Jeremy
Letwin rh Sir Oliver
Lewer Andrew
Lewis rh Brandon
Lewis rh Dr Julian
Lidington rh Mr David
Lopez Julia
Lopresti Jack
Mackinlay Craig
Maclean Rachel
Main Mrs Anne
Mak Alan
Malthouse Kit
Mann Scott
Masterton Paul
May rh Mrs Theresa
Maynard Paul
McLoughlin rh Sir Patrick
McPartland Stephen
McVey rh Ms Esther
Mercer Johnny
Merriman Huw
Metcalfe Stephen
Miller rh Mrs Maria
Milling Amanda
Mills Nigel
Milton rh Anne
Mitchell rh Mr Andrew
Moore Damien
Mordaunt rh Penny
Morgan rh Nicky
Morris Anne Marie
Morris David
Morris James
Mundell rh David
Murray Mrs Sheryll
Murrison Dr Andrew
Neill Robert
Newton Sarah
Nokes rh Caroline
Norman Jesse
O'Brien Neil
Opperman Guy
Parish Neil
Patel rh Priti
Paterson rh Mr Owen
Pawsey Mark
Penning rh Sir Mike
Penrose John
Percy Andrew
Perry rh Claire
Philp Chris
Pincher Christopher
Poulter Dr Dan
Pow Rebecca
Prentis Victoria
Prisk Mr Mark
Pritchard Mark
Pursglove Tom
Quin Jeremy
Quince Will
Raab Dominic
Redwood rh John
Rees-Mogg Mr Jacob
Robertson Mr Laurence
Robinson Mary
Rosindell Andrew
Ross Douglas
Rowley Lee
Rudd rh Amber
Rutley David
Sandbach Antoinette
Seely Mr Bob
Selous Andrew
Shapps rh Grant
Sharma Alok
Shelbrooke Alec
Simpson rh Mr Keith
Skidmore Chris
Smith Chloe
Smith rh Julian
Smith Royston
Soames rh Sir Nicholas
Soubry rh Anna
Spelman rh Dame Caroline
Spencer Mark
Stephenson Andrew
Stevenson John
Stewart Bob
Stewart Iain
Stewart Rory
Streeter Mr Gary
Stride rh Mel
Stuart Graham
Sturdy Julian
Sunak Rishi
Swayne rh Sir Desmond
Swire rh Sir Hugo
Syms Sir Robert
Thomas Derek
Thomson Ross
Throup Maggie
Tolhurst Kelly
Tomlinson Justin
Tomlinson Michael
Tracey Craig
Tredinnick David
Trevelyan Mrs Anne-Marie
Truss rh Elizabeth
Tugendhat Tom
Vaizey rh Mr Edward
Vara Mr Shailesh
Vickers Martin
Walker Mr Charles
Walker Mr Robin
Wallace rh Mr Ben
Warburton David
Warman Matt
Watling Giles
Whately Helen
Whittaker Craig
Whittingdale rh Mr John
Wiggin Bill
Williamson rh Gavin
Wollaston Dr Sarah
Wood Mike
Wragg Mr William
Wright rh Jeremy
Zahawi Nadhim
 

Green Party – against

Lucas Caroline
 

Democratic Unionist Party – for

Campbell Mr Gregory
Dodds rh Nigel
Girvan Paul
Little Pengelly Emma
Paisley Ian
Robinson Gavin
Shannon Jim
Simpson David
Wilson rh Sammy
 

Independent – against

Hopkins Kelvin
 

Independent – for

Hermon Lady
 

Labour – against

Abbott rh Ms Diane
Abrahams Debbie
Allin-Khan Dr Rosena
Amesbury Mike
Austin Ian
Beckett rh Margaret
Benn rh Hilary
Blomfield Paul
Brown Lyn
Buck Ms Karen
Burgon Richard
Butler Dawn
Byrne rh Liam
Cadbury Ruth
Carden Dan
Clwyd rh Ann
Cooper Julie
Corbyn rh Jeremy
Cruddas Jon
Cryer John
Cunningham Mr Jim
Daby Janet
Davies Geraint
De Cordova Marsha
Debbonaire Thangam
Dent Coad Emma
Dodds Anneliese
Doughty Stephen
Dowd Peter
Drew Dr David
Duffield Rosie
Efford Clive
Evans Chris
Frith James
Gardiner Barry
Gill Preet Kaur
Godsiff Mr Roger
Goodman Helen
Greenwood Lilian
Greenwood Margaret
Griffith Nia
Grogan John
Hamilton Fabian
Hardy Emma
Hayes Helen
Hayman Sue
Huq Dr Rupa
Hussain Imran
Jones Darren
Jones Sarah
Keeley Barbara
Killen Ged
Laird Lesley
Lee Karen
Lewis Clive
Lloyd Tony
Marsden Gordon
Martin Sandy
Maskell Rachael
McDonald Andy
McDonnell rh John
Mearns Ian
Miliband rh Edward
Morgan Stephen
Morris Grahame
Nandy Lisa
Onasanya Fiona
Osamor Kate
Pearce Teresa
Pennycook Matthew
Pidcock Laura
Qureshi Yasmin
Reed Mr Steve
Reeves Ellie
Reynolds Emma
Rimmer Ms Marie
Rodda Matt
Rowley Danielle
Skinner Mr Dennis
Slaughter Andy
Sobel Alex
Starmer rh Keir
Sweeney Mr Paul
Thornberry rh Emily
Turner Karl
Vaz Valerie
Walker Thelma
Watson Tom
West Catherine
Western Matt
Whitehead Dr Alan
Williamson Chris
Yasin Mohammad
Zeichner Daniel
 

Labour – for

Ali Rushanara
Ashworth Jonathan
Bailey Mr Adrian
Barron rh Sir Kevin
Berger Luciana
Betts Mr Clive
Blackman-Woods Dr Roberta
Brabin Tracy
Bradshaw rh Mr Ben
Brennan Kevin
Brown rh Mr Nicholas
Bryant Chris
Campbell rh Mr Alan
Champion Sarah
Chapman Jenny
Coffey Ann
Cooper rh Yvette
Cooper Rosie
Coyle Neil
Crausby Sir David
Cummins Judith
Cunningham Alex
Dakin Nic
Dhesi Mr Tanmanjeet Singh
Eagle Maria
Eagle Ms Angela
Elliott Julie
Ellman Dame Louise
Elmore Chris
Esterson Bill
Farrelly Paul
Fitzpatrick Jim
Flint rh Caroline
Fovargue Yvonne
Foxcroft Vicky
Gaffney Hugh
Gapes Mike
Glindon Mary
Green Kate
Hanson rh David
Harman rh Ms Harriet
Harris Carolyn
Healey rh John
Hill Mike
Hillier Meg
Hodge rh Dame Margaret
Hodgson Mrs Sharon
Howarth rh Mr George
Jarvis Dan
Johnson Diana
Jones Gerald
Jones Graham P.
Jones rh Mr Kevan
Kane Mike
Kendall Liz
Khan Afzal
Kinnock Stephen
Kyle Peter
Lammy rh Mr David
Lavery Ian
Leslie Mr Chris
Lewell-Buck Mrs Emma
Lucas Ian C.
Lynch Holly
Madders Justin
Mahmood Mr Khalid
Malhotra Seema
Mann John
Matheson Christian
McDonagh Siobhain
McFadden rh Mr Pat
McGinn Conor
McGovern Alison
McInnes Liz
McKinnell Catherine
McMahon Jim
McMorrin Anna
Moon Mrs Madeleine
Morden Jessica
Norris Alex
Onn Melanie
Onwurah Chi
Peacock Stephanie
Perkins Toby
Phillips Jess
Phillipson Bridget
Platt Jo
Pollard Luke
Pound Stephen
Powell Lucy
Rashid Faisal
Rayner Angela
Rees Christina
Reeves Rachel
Reynolds Jonathan
Ruane Chris
Ryan rh Joan
Sharma Mr Virendra
Sheerman Mr Barry
Sherriff Paula
Shuker Mr Gavin
Smeeth Ruth
Smith Jeff
Smith Laura
Smith Nick
Smith Owen
Smyth Karin
Snell Gareth
Spellar rh John
Stevens Jo
Streeting Wes
Stringer Graham
Tami Mark
Thomas Gareth
Thomas-Symonds Nick
Timms rh Stephen
Turley Anna
Twist Liz
Wilson Phil
 

Liberal Democrat – against

Brake rh Tom
Cable rh Sir Vince
Carmichael rh Mr Alistair
Davey rh Sir Edward
Farron Tim
Hobhouse Wera
Jardine Christine
Lamb rh Norman
Lloyd Stephen
Moran Layla
Stone Jamie
 

Plaid Cymru – against

Edwards Jonathan
Lake Ben
Saville Roberts Liz
Williams Hywel