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Conservatives and climate change, the London Plan and a roundtable with Natural England

December 4, 2009

AEF is uniquely placed in terms of our in-depth knowledge of aviation’s environmental impacts across the board. In the last two weeks we’ve been involved with a number of events that addressed sustainability issues in the round.

Tim, together with a number of academics and industry representatives, took part in a roundtable discussion with Natural England, to help inform the organisation’s aviation policy, gave a presentation to MSc students at Manchester Metropolitan University as part of a short course on aviation and sustainability, and met with a student in London looking at how NGOs interact with the aviation industry.

Cait attended two events organised by Green Alliance – a talk by the shadow foreign secretary William Hague on climate change and foreign policy, and the launch of Green Alliance’s report The Right Route, which argues that policy decisions about transport projects are frequently in direct conflict with the government’s own objectives on health and the environment. She took the opportunity to talk to the shadow transport minister, Theresa Villiers, about the Conservatives’ views on the current stabilsation target for aviation emissions.

Nic, meanwhile, went to a seminar on the London plan, one of the most important of the Mayor of London’s strategies as it underpins many planning and transport policies. He also met Sir Michael Pitt, newly appointed chairman of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which was set up as a result of the recent planning bill and will replace the system of public inquiries for major airport developments.

We’ve also been working on an AEF briefing on the airport noise action plans, following up Paul Grimley’s presentation at our AGM, have given advice on noise levels, measurements and metrics to a parish council member likely to be affected by the proposed increase in flights at Bristol Airport, and have hosted a meeting of the AirportWatch coalition.

New on our website in the past fortnight have been news of new research debunking the myth of continuous improvements in aircraft efficiency, a story on Sir Nick Stern’s suggestion that money be levied from polluting sectors such as aviation to help generate essential finance for climate adaptation in developing countries, and an AEF position paper on proposals for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.