Air travel is completely unsustainable (in terms of environmental impact and oil use) and Camden Friends of the Earth has worked closely with local Greenpeace, WDM and other FOE groups to campaign against plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

Members of the group posed tough questions at meetings with former Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly and Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn. We were therefore delighted when in May 2010 the Government announced they would scrap plans for the 3rd runway.

We held a public meeting on Why Noise Matters in November 2011 with John Stewart, Heathrow campaigner and author of ‘Why Noise Matters: A Worldwide Perspective on the Problems, Policies and Solutions‘.

We’ve also campaigned successfully to get aviation and shipping emissions included in the UK’s Climate Change Act – see press coverage of Camden Friends of the Earth below:
Ham & High article April 2008

The quickest way to cut your carbon

• Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change.

• Despite myths propagated by the airline industry, aviation already accounts for 13% of the UK’s contribution to climate change, according to the Department of Transport.

• To make matters worse, aviation is the UK’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

• We could close every factory, lock away every car and turn off every light in the country, but it won’t halt global warming if we carry on taking planes as often as we do.

These are stark statistics but offer a conservative estimate of the damage contributed by aviation, since they only count flights departing the UK – not those returning! The UK’s top climatologists predict that aviation’s emissions alone are predicted to exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%. (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)

Emissions from aircraft are especially problematic because of the height at which they are emitted and the particularly noxious mix of gases, making them 2.7 times more damaging than the effect of their carbon dioxide alone (known as radiative forcing). (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)

Despite the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence highlighting the threat from aviation, the sector is not considered by any binding international treaties such as the Kyoto protocol.

There are no alternative fuels for aircraft and the Royal Commission does not expect any significant technological developments that would lessen aviation’s impact for several decades. The British government admits that “there is no viable alternative currently visible to kerosene as an aviation fuel.” (The Guardian, 28/02/06)

Find out more at Plane Stupid and make your own pledge to be free from flying for 12 months at Low Fly Zone.

Alternatives to flying

Our recommendations for low-guilt, high pleasure travel

Responsible travel
select the no-flight option
Wilderness travel walk, sail and kayak the wilds of Scotland
Camping Whether it’s at a festival, climate camp or in the wilds, we’re loving all that oxygen!
Glamping luxury camping, nature with added home comforts
Seat61 the Man in Seat61 gives all the options for travelling around the world by train – perfect for Camden with the Eurostar at St Pancras
Sleeper trains don’t miss a day of your holiday!
Alastair Sawday so many options on Europe’s doorstep