British comedian Alistair McGowan stands at a plot of land in Sipson near Heathrow airport, site of the planned third runway project.©Jiri Rezac / GREENPEACE
In a canny move, Greenpeace UK – along with Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson, comedian Alistair McGowan (pictured) and prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate Zac Goldsmith - has purchased a piece of land smack bang in the middle of the proposed third runway site at Heathrow Airport near London.
The UK government plans to go ahead with airport expansions across the country even though this would wipe out its chance of meeting its legally binding climate emission reduction targets. For some perspective on aviation’s contribution to the UK’s emissions, consider this: even if the whole rest of the UK economy shut down and reduced its emissions to zero, if every power station switched off and every car was taken off the road – aviation under the Government’s plan would alone still make the UK well in excess of its CO2 targets and a climate criminal.
SO, on the eve of the government's expected announcement that it wants to go ahead with the expansion, Greenpeace UK revealed that it had bought a piece of the land at the heart of the airport expansion site. We can defend the land itself and physically block the bulldozers when they come to destroy the village of Sipson (due to be flattened by the plans) and prevent them laying the 2km tarmac strip that would spell the end of the UK's climate targets.
(BBC version of map) - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7825169.stm
This plot of land will become a focus for climate campaigners across Britain and worldwide – campaigners will stand shoulder to shoulder with the villagers of Sipson who will have their homes destroyed, the hundreds of thousands of Londoner's whose quality or life and air quality will be destroyed by noise and pollution and most importantly of all the millions of people worldwide who face climate disaster unless projects such as this one are stopped in their tracks.
Actress Emma Thomson, and British comedian Alistair MacGowan as well as the main UK opposition party (The Conservatives) environment advisor, Zac Goldsmith, have bought the land with Greenpeace. MPs from all parties, as well as a Royal Society scientist and other prominent figures, are also named on a legal deed of trust for the land and are supporting the campaign are asking thousands of people - worldwide - to 'join the plot' and sign up to join the legal deed of trust as well.
This means that Greenpeace and our three deed holders can represent thousands of people in court if it comes to that, and bring the climate concerns of people worldwide - including those facing the worst impacts of climate change - right into the heart of the legal and political process.
Heathrow expansion isn't only an issue for those unfortunate enough to live on the flight path. If expansion goes ahead Heathrow will become the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK - the effects of which will be felt across the world. The UK government's plans to expand airports across the country mean it will be impossible for it to meet its commitment to reduce emissions and stop runaway climate change. We need your help. You can sign up now to get your own piece of the plot. It's not a financial thing, but you can be included as a beneficial owner on the legal deed of trust. Join the airplot here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/join-the-plot-to-stop-airport-14012009