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Extinction Rebellion Staging Protest Over Leeds Airport Expansion

Today, protestors from the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion are planning to stage a protest against the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport

It has been reported that the eco-activist group will be taking part in a socially distanced protest outside the Civic Hall in Leeds to voice their concerns over the expansion of the local airport.

The Telegraph and Argus reported they will be gathering at 12.30pm and will showcase a banner that reads ‘fly today, gone tomorrow.’ This slogan is said to represent its stance against short-term economic growth, taking priority over long-term prosperity.

Extinction Rebellion Staging Protest Over Leeds Airport Expansion
Extinction Rebellion activists on top of a boat on Victoria bridge in Leeds city centre

The airport plans were published on the council website on 13th May. They have been met with criticism by environmental campaigners as they reject that more flights and extended flying hours should go ahead.

This comes after Extinction Rebellion held socially distanced protesting in Exeter when they invited people to ‘Reclaim the Streets.’

The plans unveiled a proposal to increase passenger numbers from 4 million to 7 million a year by 2030. As well as this, they plan on extending flying times, which the campaigners say will increase noise pollution.

In research published by Leeds University, it stated that the greenhouse gases emitted from flights at current levels exceed the entire ‘carbon budget’ set by Leeds Council.

Leeds Bradford Airport has said the terminal replacement would be:

“one of the UK’s most environmentally efficient airport buildings.”

The chief executive, Hywel Rees, also said the investment would protect and create new jobs. Plus, it will boost international connectivity at a time where the region and sector need to turbo-charge the economic recovery. 

Extinction Rebellion Staging Protest Over Leeds Airport Expansion
The chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, Hywel Rees

However, Extinction Rebellion does not think this is in the best interests for the long-term plans for reducing the effects of climate change. In a statement issued today, they mentioned that the expansion would ignore the issues of the climate crisis, and public health risks caused by increased emissions. It also says that the air quality levels in the city often exceed the World Health Organisations safe limit, and this would add to it.

The group also asked that Leeds Bradford Airport follow the lead of the Supreme Court on the expansion of Heathrow. They also said to help the city set a progressive precedent and invest in sustainable infrastructure.

This protest is just one of the several demonstrations carried out across the country since the lockdown eased. This week, 2000 pairs of shoes appeared in Trafalgar Square as Extinction Rebellion called for the government to ‘remember children during the coronavirus recovery.’

The shoes were donated by local neighbours and teachers across the capital and were arranged in lines to protest the government bailing out carbon-intensive companies. As part of the protest, people held a banner up that read ‘Covid today > Climate tomorrow > Act Now.’

Speaking with EuroNews, XR spokesperson Alanna Byrne said that people are deeply worried about the future of their children, and this is what the shoes represent. She also added, “we cannot go back to the way things were before this crisis hit, we need to make the necessary changes now to protect people and planet.”

This news comes after it was announced that some UK airports will require people to wear gloves and masks when travelling.

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job 🙂

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