15 September 2015
This was an informative event with about a dozen expert speakers, including scientists, policy experts, campaigners and Green Party spokespeople.
The point was made repeatedly: the science tells us that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically from present levels, this rules out any aviation expansion.
In the case of aviation, emissions reductions must come from reducing flights since there are little technological changes that can be made to reduce emissions from planes. The idea of a 'frequent flyer levy' was discussed. At the moment 15% of people take 70% of all flights (according to research by New Economics Foundation). With a frequent flyer levy every person would get one return flight a year tax free, after that tax is applied incrementally, with frequent flyers paying a high rate of tax reflecting the cost to the environment and society.
The importance of direct action was stressed and green party activists in Plane Stupid spoke about their action at Heathrow Airport in July (and the no new runways banner drop that day outside Parliament!)
About 60 people attended and lots of connections were made between campaigners.