Stop Bristol Airport Expansion

Tuesday 31st January 2023 was a historic day…

… but not for the right reasons

There should have been a momentous victory for common sense in the face of the Climate Crisis and for an inspiring coalition of active citizens fighting against inadequate Government policy and legal loopholes so large that you can fly a jumbo jet through them.

Instead a judgement was made that the High Court did not rule that Bristol Airport Expansion should be stopped, despite all the scientific evidence and overwhelming public, local and regional government opposition.

There was palpable anger within the crowd gathered at Bristol Central Justice Court and some highly emotional demonstrations of feelings about the outcome, with many powerful speeches.

There was also an extremely moving protest by members of Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol who were soaked in symbolic blood poured over them by a representative of the Airport and Government destroying the young people’s future. All of which can be seen in this excellent 30 minute video

The judge, Mr Justice Lane, stated that he understands the situation may be in accordance with the law and the many contradicting government policies, but it is clearly counter to the laws of science and the morals and ethics of needing to reduce our society’s carbon emissions.

In his first paragraph he states:

‘Climate change, with its consequences for human and other life on this planet, is generally regarded as a matter of very great importance. In the same month in which this appeal was heard in Bristol, world leaders and other policy makers gathered in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt for COP27, in order to discuss this matter. 

There is an international consensus on the need to achieve substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2021 was widely reported as being a “Code Red for Humanity”, such is the present level of concern’ 

And in his concluding part he refers back to this by saying:

‘I should make clear that nothing in this judgment is to be taken as contradicting what is said in its opening paragraph, regarding the significance of climate change and GHGs. 

As will by now be apparent, the main issue in this case is not whether emissions from any additional aircraft using Bristol Airport should be ignored. Plainly, they should not. Rather, it is about how and by whom those emissions should be addressed.’

In writing this he is drawing attention to the fact that emissions from an airport but was not able to uphold the complaint because of inadequacies in the law and planning policies that leave a loophole whereby emissions from planes flying over an area have to be accounted at a national level and local planning regulations cannot take them into consideration.

All of which can be clearly considered a ludicrous situation and one that the secretary of state could intervene to remedy and ensure that the government uploads its duty of care and legal obligations to move towards its own netzero targets. 

The coalition of local climate and community activists, Bristol Anti-Airport Network, (BAAN) argued that the UK Planning Inspectorate failed to consider the impacts of over one million tonnes of carbon emissions per year that will arise from the expansion, but Lord Justice Lane did not agree, at least in law. 

We will fight this and stop this – it is PLANE Wrong!

Action is needed now
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Read more about the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) at their website

Here are some links for further reading:

As reported:

BBC Points West Lunch time Bulletin at
BBC Points West Evening Bulletin at
BBC Points West Late night Bulletin at
ITV West Report at

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse raising the issue in Parliament at

The Judgement or

Other Reporting

Bristol Activist

January 31, 2023 James Ward

Bristol Post

By Heather Pickstock North Somerset reporter Shashana Brown Multimedia JournalistUPDATED16:54, 31 JAN 2023

BBC Article Bristol Airport expansion granted at High Court

Our Government needs to hear this message loud and clear

This decision is PLANE WRONG!

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