Ruth Kelly in live webchat

Transport Minister Ruth Kelly will be appearing in a live webchat at 10am on the 20th of September.

It's a good opportunity to ask her how the Government plans to reconcile its climate change targets with aviation expansion. Register at

No egg throwing, now...

More expansion = more emissions

Regional airports might not get too much media attention, but rest assured - they're dead keen on expansion. And being out of the public eye means they often get away with the most ridiculous claims - as this latest humdinger should demonstrate.

This gibberish started with Southampton Airport and now Bristol International Airport is following suit. They're claiming that expanding regional airports means a gross reduction in CO2, because instead of driving to the nearest long-haul shopping mall, people will fly from whichever airport is closest too them.

Dave: It’s the Vulcan – or everything else

It is quite clear that the messages from Plane Stupid and the growing climate movement are starting to permeate the Westminster village.

Just two years ago, who ever talked about aviation and global warming? Now - it’s not only at the frontline of the environmental debate; it’s even at the forefront of parliamentary politics.

No shit, the climate matters

Say what you like about the aviation industry, it's never short of a good junket. Seems like every week a new bunch of businessmen crawl out of the woodwork pleading that aviation is being unfairly demonised for pumping tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The latest lobbyists to be paid lots and lots of money to persuade you that flying is super are Flying Matters, who claim that "Flying is no longer a luxury reserved for a privileged elite", because 50% of people flew at least once last year.

What they decline to mention is that the Mori Poll they're quoting, entitled Climate Change and Taxing Air Travel, shows a widespread support for reducing aviation growth.

Aviation growth = more emissions


Barely a week goes by without an overpaid executive from some beleagured corner of the aviation industry getting confused about industry growth, efficiency and emissions.

This week it's the turn of World Travel and Tourism Council president Jean-Claude Baumgarten, who urged immediate action on congestion at the UK's airports, saying that the UK needed “to get its act together."

How green is Brown?

Zac Goldsmith and John Gummer's Quality of Life Commission will publish its recommendations this week. I understand that among the proposals will be a call for a moratorium on airport expansion – certainly in the South-east – and a re-evaluation of the roads enlargement programme.

Given that road transport already accounts for about a quarter of Britain's carbon footprint and that aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, these are sensible ideas. But while all the talk will be about whether or not David Cameron will take their thorough work on board, the real question is – will Brown?