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Norman Lamb presented Air Traffic Emissions Reductions Bill to Parliament today

March 22, 2005 5:28 PM

Norman Lamb presented a Bill in parliament today that calls for an integrated air transport plan for the UK, with stepped reductions of carbon emissions from aircraft. The Air Traffic Emissions Reductions Bill is a modified version of a Bill introduced in the Lords last year by the Green peer Lord Beaumont.

Mr Lamb, who presented the bill after discussions with Norwich councillor Rupert Read, said today, "According to the Aviation White Paper, carbon emissions have risen by 23% since 1997 - and are predicted to be double 1990 levels by 2010. London airports alone produced more than 2 million tonnes of CO2 last year. Yet the government proposes building more runways - meaning more carbon emissions and more countryside destroyed."

Mr Lamb also pointed out, "The Treasury and Department of Transport estimate the 'national cost' of global warming caused by aviation emissions at £1.4 billion a year - rising to £4.8 billion annually by 2030. That's a massive amount of waste. Tony Blair claims to take climate change seriously but this government risks failing to meet its own domestic targets on CO2 emissions"

By contrast, the Lib Dems would:

1) Introduce taxes per aircraft not per passenger (freight aircraft currently pay no tax at all)

2) Encourage airlines to invest in more fuel efficient planes and discourage half-empty flights

3) Oppose the construction of international airports on new sites

4) Reject expansion of airports in the South-East unless existing capacity is fully utilised

5) Press for multinational agreement on aviation pollution in the long-term

Supporters of Norman Lamb's Bill come from the Lib Dems, Labour (including Michael Meacher) and Plaid Cymru with several signatories sitting on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sustainable Aviation.