FACT SHEET 1: AVIATION EMISSIONS: Bristol Airport and the Climate
Emergency (v: 19.08.19)
The Fact Sheets are intended as a reference for issues raised by the threatened expansion of Bristol Airport and updated regularly. Sources & references at end of document. Comment and suggestions welcome.
Contact: STOPBAex@gmail.com (subject line: attn LT)
1 In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that,
based on a vast and incontrovertible body of scientific evidence, we only have 12 years to
save the planet from climate-related disaster. In the past 50 years, 60% of mammals,
birds, fish, insects and reptiles have disappeared because of human activity. The mass
extinction of plants and wildlife is leading to a catastrophic loss of biodiversity.
2 This climate emergency will create physical, social and economic disruption on an
unprecedented scale. With roughly 1°C of global warming already driven by human activity,
the physical impacts are already apparent as glaciers and permafrost melt at an alarming
rate leading to rising sea-levels and extreme weather conditions.
The Climate Emergency in North Somerset and the Region
3 In November 2018, Bristol City Council unanimously declared a ‘climate emergency’
and the aim for Bristol to be carbon neutral by 2030. In February 2019, North Somerset
Council also unanimously declared a ‘climate emergency’ and committed to achieving
carbon neutrality by 2030. They were followed in July 2019 by Bath & North East
Somerset (BANES) council and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
4 The impacts of climate change are already obvious in many places around the world:
food shortages, increased poverty and increased severity of heat waves, drought,
hurricanes and wildfires. In the UK, we will be affected both indirectly (through stresses on
global food production and increased conflict) and directly through impacts on our own
agriculture, weather extremes, etc. North Somerset, in particular Weston-super-Mare,
has been identified as one of the most vulnerable locations for increased coastal
flooding due to sea level rise.
Bristol Airport: flights and carbon emissions
5 Aviation is the fastest growing sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and
will be the largest single source of carbon emissions by 2050. Bristol Airport will make a
significant contribution. Here are the figures:
Sources and references
Essential sources of information on emissions and the climate emergency
Numbers refer to above paragraphs(§).
§1 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 8 Oct 2018.
§2 The Carbon Brief organisation. https://www.carbonbrief.org/
§4 Climate Change Risk Assessment Report 2017 prepared for the Committee on Climate Change
§5 Adrian Gibbs (2019), ‘Just Plane Wrong’. Isonomia, Bristol.
§6 [Insert link]
§7 Parish Councils Airport Association (May 2019). Addendum 5 ‘Further comments by the PCAA
to Bristol Airport application 18/P/5118/OUT on Climate Change.
§8 ‘Contrails: aviation’s dirty secret’
§9 Campaign Against Climate Change response to BAL planning application. https://planning.nsomerset.
§10 Adrian Gibbs (2019), ‘Just Plane Wrong’. Isonomia, Bristol.
§12 [Source tbc]
§13 International Panel on Climate Change, First report on aviation for the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change’ [detail tbc]
§14 Committee on Climate Change [detail tbc, p.156)
§18 International Panel on Climate Change, ’30 years informing global climate action’
§20 UK CCC (May 2019) Net-Zero, the UK’s contribution to stopping global warming. [link]
§21 Friends of the Earth (April 2019. ’A net zero carbon budget for the whole transport sector’
§24 Sandra Laville, ‘UK’s “creative carbon accounting” breaches climate deal’, The Guardian.
LT, SBAEx Fact sheet Editor