Green party

The Airports Pledge: mobilising wider opposition to airport expansions

Conference notes that the Green Party has, earlier this month, been invited to support the Airports Pledge organised by climate campaign group Rising Tide. The pledge is "strongly opposed to the Government's plans for airport expansion." The pledge encourages wide-ranging non-violent activity including direct action to "make the case for reducing demand air transport" and encourages "action to block airport expansion."

Conference endorses the Airports Pledge and congratulates the organisers for initiating such a comprehensive and inclusive campaign, including recognising the need to vote against airport expansions and to support the Green Party's Air Traffic Emissions Reduction Bill.

Conference instructs the national executive to:

1. Continue to prioritise work on aviation, not least as part of the Green Party's efforts to address climate change.2. Publicise the Airports Pledge through the appropriate internal networks and encourage members to support it and to publicise the Green Party's contribution to the effort to prevent further airport expansions.

BACKGROUND NOTE (NOT PART OF MOTION)

The pledge is officially called "A Pledge of Personal Opposition to Airport Expansion." The pledge itself states:

"I am strongly opposed to the Government's plans for airport expansion. I agree with the many others opposing this policy: the environmental scientists who warn of the severe impacts of airtransport on global climate change and local air quality; the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, the Environmental Audit Committee, and the Sustainable Development Commission, which strongly oppose the expansion plans; the many independent organisations, transport experts and respected think-tanks, which make the case for reducing demand and promoting thepotential of rail; the local residents defending their houses, lands, and communities. In the event that the Government chooses to ignore this widespread and well-informed opposition, and refuses to back away from its expansion policy, I will take personal action to block airport expansion and to prevent companies from supporting and funding it."

The organisers, who include activists from climate campaign group Rising Tide, say the following on their website:

What is 'personal action'

The action you choose to take is entirely a matter of your personal choice. Personal action might include: local action: setting up or supporting local campaigns, rallies or demonstrationsnational action: taking part in rallies, demonstrations, mass letter-writing or e-mail campaignspolitical action: voting only for candidates who oppose airport expansion, boycotting companies funding or constructing airports and runways, protesting at the AGM's of companies involved in airport expansion direct action: taking part in non-violent direct action at construction sites and against companies involved in airport expansion supporting others: providing financial or resource support to others involved in the campaign. The pledge is strictly non violent. We will not include or mention any campaign that uses violent tactics and will remove from the web listing any personal statements that use violent or threatening language.

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