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Plane Stupid turns Southampton Airport into climate refugee camp

Plane Stupid | 17.02.2009 13:37 | Climate Chaos | South Coast

17th January: A group of activists from local anti-aviation group Plane Stupid Southampton have just chained themselves to the entrance of Southampton airport and erected tents at the main entrance in a bid turn the regional airport into a climate refugee camp. In addition to setting up camp today, activists have formally submitted a planning application with Eastleigh Borough Council to turn the airport into refugee housing.

The planned expansion of Southampton airport, along with 34 other regional airports in the UK, will do enough damage to the climate to force an estimated 1.3 million people in impoverished parts of the world to flee raising sea levels, flooding, drought and famine.

Increased flying is one of the main culprits of climate change. While the government has committed the UK to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, the expanding aviation industry alone would destroy any hope of hitting this target. BAA hopes to increase passenger traffic for Southampton Airport form 1.5 million passengers a year to 3 million by 2015.

In order to get flying under control, the government needs to halt all airport expansion, and encourage people to take the train. Train journeys are ten times less damaging to the climate, and Southampton has excellent rail links to the rest of the UK, making flying unnecessary.

“People in the UK fly more per capita than anyone else, so the UK aviation industry has the greatest responsibility for the consequences of climate change. It makes perfect sense for Southampton to take on the burden of housing some of the world's climate refugees”, said Pete Barker of Plane Stupid. “It's crazy to imagine that we can tackle the serious threat posed by runaway climate change whilst still allowing airports to expand.”

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