On Thursday, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government failed to take account of its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change when setting out its support for a third runway at Heathrow in its National Policy Statement (NPS) for airports. Challenging the decision, TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer told Green Party’s Caroline Russell she believes UK’s efforts to cut carbon emissions will just force other countries to build more infrastructures causing more carbon emissions in the world.
Ignoring the radio host’s point completely, Ms Russell said: “If we’re going to cut our carbon we’re going to do it by making our world better.
“With more renewable energy and these new good jobs that are going to come out of making everyone’s life better.”
Ms Hartley-Brewer demanded the Green Party spokeswoman addressed her original point, as she blasted: “Could you address the point I actually made to you?”
The question was followed by a long embarrassing silence, only broken by Ms Russell eventually mumbling: “You are trying to make out that if we don’t build a third runway at Heathrow then we are going to end up importing lots of bad, dirty energy from somewhere else in the world.
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“But actually, what we could do is make our world better with lots of very affordable renewable energy.
“That would make people’s lives better.”
To which Ms Hartley-Brewer replied: “I’m all in favour of making the world better, that sounds like a great idea.
“But hold on a minute, Caroline, heating bills have gone up because of green taxes!
“And they’ll go up even more because of more green taxes.”
Doubts have been raised over the future of road-building schemes after anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners won their Court of Appeal challenge.
Their argument could be used to cancel several new road schemes which follow Government policy set out in the 2014 National Networks NPS, according to the Transport Action Network (TAN), which supports sustainable transport campaigns.
It is calling on the Government to re-evaluate its policy and spending priorities to ensure the UK meets its commitment to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.
The Department for Transport (DfT) insisted its roads strategy has been developed “alongside” its pledges on carbon reduction.
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A TAN spokesman said: “We are seeking legal advice after yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling on Heathrow to see whether the Government is also acting outside the law in pursuing its road-building programme.
“This programme is not only putting our ability to meet net zero by 2050 at risk, but it is also threatening our unique historic and natural environment.”
He described the National Networks NPS as “out of touch and out of date”.
A DfT spokeswoman said: “We take our commitment to carbon targets immensely seriously and have one of the world’s most ambitious plans for reducing carbon emissions. We have developed our roads strategy alongside this.
“We’re also working hard to reduce the environmental impact of cars on our roads, with our ambitious plans to encourage the uptake of battery electric vehicles resulting in one sold every 15 minutes last year.”