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AEF to take part in Airports Commission public evidence sessions

The Airports Commission, set up to consider the case for new airport capacity in the UK, will hold two public evidence sessions to allow commissioners to question witnesses on aspects of their written evidence.

AEF is to be one of twelve organisations taking part, giving evidence on 9th July in Manchester as part of a half-day session on passenger demand and climate constraints. A second session the next day in London will focus on airport operational models. After the commissioners’ questions, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to make comments from the gallery.

The question of what impact new airport capacity could have on our climate commitments and legislation comes at a time when the UK’s overall performance against those targets is weak, suggests the annual progress report of the Committee on Climate Change, launched yesterday at an event attended by AEF. While there was some evidence of progress in areas such as loft insulation and road transport emissions, said the Committee’s Chief Executive David Kennedy, overall, carbon reductions are not taking place quickly enough, and there has been insufficient investment in low carbon technology to ensure that we remain on course after the recession.

2012 was a record year for wind farm construction, Kennedy reported, but the contracts for such development were agreed many years ago and the ‘light touch’ policies now in place may be less conducive to such developments in future. Overall, while the UK has met the first carbon budget and is on course to meet the second (201-17), current trends suggest that we will fail to meet either the third or fourth carbon budgets, the CCC report indicates.