In October last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that a global temperature rise above 1.5 degrees would have catastrophic consequences.
In light of this report, in May this year the Committee on Climate Change outlined how the UK could achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Liberal Democrats are a true environmental party and are determined to achieve net-zero by 2045.
Achieving net-zero involves cutting emissions across all sectors to almost zero, where feasible, and offsetting the remaining emissions by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through planting forests and a range of technological methods.
However, there are complications when it comes to implementing this model.
In some sectors like power generation (we can use renewable technologies) and surface transport (all cars can be powered by electricity or hydrogen) we already know how we can bring emissions down to zero.
But in sectors like aviation we do not yet know how to bring our emissions down to zero because there is no existing replacement for jet fuel.
The Lib Dems recognise that flying is a positive part of life in a globalised world but we also understand our moral duty not to expand an industry that is contributing to the climate crisis. We recognise the vital role that innovation will play in addressing the climate crisis. We therefore support the efforts of the aviation industry as they seek to develop new fuels and, if necessary, new designs of planes.
However, while those technologies have not yet been developed, we believe that the aviation sector should not be allowed to expand above its current size. It is already Liberal Democrat policy to oppose the development of new runways (net) across the UK.
In light of the necessity of achieving net-zero emissions, I therefore oppose the proposed expansion at Bristol Airport, which would make it possible for more planes to fly in and out of Bristol, and cause a higher carbon footprint.
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