Pressure group backing for Star campaign

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners Friends of the Earth today backed The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign and looked forward to the end of the growth in cheap flights.

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners Friends of the Earth today backed The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign and looked forward to the end of the growth in cheap flights.

The pressure group's aviation campaigner Richard Dyer said it was vital to curb the growth in the number of planes to prevent serious damage to the earth's atmosphere.

Mr Dyer said: “At present carbon dioxide emissions from planes make up about 6.5 per cent of total emissions, which doesn't sound that great.

“But the fact is that other sectors are reducing their carbon emissions while with aircraft the figure is increasing dramatically and that has to be changed.”

FoE has been helping the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign at the public inquiry into proposals to extend operations at the Essex airport.

He warned: “It is not just carbon dioxide, there are other gases which are released high in the atmosphere by aircraft which are very damaging.”

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Mr Dyer was hopeful that the environmental effects of flying were now becoming much more clear to both politicians and to the general public.

He said: “We are seeing much more interest in the issue and more people are becoming aware of the harmful effects of flying.

“It was good that the government increased taxes on flying recently. It was nowhere near enough, but it was at least a start in the right direction.

“And as far as the general public are concerned more people are becoming aware of the environmental effects of flying.

“Some are still turning a blind eye to the issue but more are getting an understanding of the problem all the time.”

Friends of the Earth's local groups are part of the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign and are expected to give evidence at the public inquiry later in the year.

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