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Blair must stop ducking aviation issue before it's too late - Baker

June 17, 2004 12:00 AM

Commenting on Sir Jonathan Porritt's warning that the Government will fail to reach its targets on cutting CO2 emissions if the Department for Transport's forecast of airport expansion goes ahead, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"The Government wants a reduction in CO2 emissions but is not prepared to take the necessary political action to achieve it.

"The Prime Minister was challenged twice this week in the House of Commons, explicitly on the issue of aviation emissions by myself and by Charles Kennedy. Both times he ducked the issue.

"Blair is hoping for some miracle scientific cure that will solve the problem. That is not going to happen and all the time he dreams on, climate change is worsening. He must address the issue of aircraft emissions now."

John Thurso MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, added:

"It is time the Government made a clear commitment to sustainable aviation. Ministers have no coherent policy and the current 'Predict and Provide' strategy will do nothing to curb demand.

"Plane polluters must start paying for the damage they cause to the environment. We need to replace air passenger duty with an aircraft departure charge, which encourages airlines to maximise capacity and buy more fuel efficient and less polluting planes."