Extinction Rebellion Bristol demands that Bristol Airport tell the truth

Extinction Rebellion Bristol demands that Bristol Airport tell the truth about its deceptive plan to go ‘carbon neutral’, which does not include emissions from flights.

This July, Bristol Airport released a ‘road-map’ that claims to detail how the airport will go ‘carbon neutral’ by 2025. However, the plan only neutralises emissions from the airport’s ground operation which accounts for 0.4% of total emissions. These figures are from their own plan.

At the same time the airport is seeking planning permission to increase passenger numbers from 8.7 million to 12 million in 2025. Far from reducing emissions, this will actually increase total emissions by 20% by 2025. The carbon neutral plan is therefore a drop in the ocean. The airport’s emissions are so large that it will emit the same CO2 as half of the city of Bristol by 2025, which is 1.9 million tonnes annually. This flies in the face of any plans for Bristol to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The airport’s road-map seeks to offset the emissions of people driving to the airport and any additional flights after 2020. Unfortunately, offsetting does not work and it gives the illusion that highly polluting activities can continue. Only 2% of the UN’s offsetting schemes are likely to have been successful. Since this finding the UN has concluded that “offsetting is not a get out of jail free card… if we are to have any hope of curbing global warming we need to transition away from carbon for good”.

In the road-map, Bristol Airport’s CEO says that “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Keeping temperature change within 1.5 degrees by the end of the century will require significant changes to our society”. He is dead right, so why are Bristol Airport willing to see emissions caused by their flights increase to 1.7 million tonnes while their carbon neutral plan only saves 6,400 tonnes.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Amelia Twine says:

“We are in a climate emergency. Bristol Airport claims to have published their road-map in response to this crisis, but the omission of flight emissions is farcical. Talking about being carbon neutral shows that the airport understands the gravity of the situation but they do not act like they care. By wilfully engaging in such a condescending PR game, Bristol Airport is knowingly wreaking destruction upon our planet and treating the citizens of Bristol with contempt.

“We demand that Bristol Airport tells the truth about its shocking environmental impact and withdraw its expansion plans. This is the only move that it could now make to show that it genuinely cares about stopping the climate and ecological breakdown which has already begun.”

Despite the road-map’s failings, the airport’s plans have received positive coverage by the press. In many cases these reports omitted that that the scheme does not include emissions from flights.  Extinction Rebellion Bristol calls upon the press to position itself on the right side of history by ensuring that the public is aware of the airport’s cynical acts.

Extinction Rebellion Bristol has become a household name for its use of direct action to sound the alarm on climate and ecological breakdown. This July it made local and national headlines by occupying Bristol Bridge with a pink boat for one week and blockading an A-road leading on the M32 with rebels glued or locked onto a pink bathtub. The action was part of a national protest called the ‘Summer Uprising’, which called upon the Government and local councils to Act Now on the climate crisis.

Extinction Rebellion is currently waiting on North Somerset Council’s decision on the proposed expansion plans before deciding on the course of action to take in response to Bristol Airport’s plans.

More about Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion’s top-line demands:

  1. #TellTheTruth: As the government has now declared a Climate Emergency, we demand that they tell the truth about what is driving climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse while working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. #ActNow: The government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. #BeyondPolitics: The government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Declaration of Rebellion:

The Extinction Rebellion Climate Factsheet for Rebels:

Contact Bristol Media Team:
What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers