Action: Confronting the fossil fuel economy
GAS-FIRED POWER STATIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE
During our administration of the UK Chapter of Stay-grounded.org its become starkly apparent that expansion is not just happening at the 8 usual suspect airports generally reported but at many more, currently more than 25.
There are many ways airports are planning to expand and not just by seeking planning consents to increase passenger numbers, Air Traffic Movements (ATM), or a new runway - but by a combination of methods including not exclusively:-
Existing Coal-Fired Power Stations
UK gov closure deadlines for all Oct'25.
1) West Burton A, on the River Trent near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire and near Retford, Nottinghamshire. Owned by EDF (Electricitie de France). Decommission date Sept'22. 4 turbines producing 2000MW. 2GW. Commissioned 1967. 9.21mt CO2 in 2014. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Burton_power_stations
So, the mouldy green dust of the "climate Davos" has settled on another COP "negotiation". 27 years on and the story is still: can; kick; road. Rather than consigning coal, oil and gas to the past, the first mention in text ever for "fossil fuels" was in a weak reference to removing ‘inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels’ with a ‘phase down’ of coal that doesn’t even mention gas or oil! COP26, more impotent than important.
On the 5th and 6th of November 2021, aviation protest actions across the globe coordinated by Stay Grounded, called for an end to aviation’s greenwashing and an effective reduction of air traffic. The diverse protests were part of a Global Day of Action called by the https://cop26coalition.org/gda/ a UK-based civil society grouping, mobilising around climate justice during COP26, the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. In addition to the 18 events for 12 UK expanding airports, protests also took place in Mexico, Nepal, Germany and France.
Aviation is the most climate-damaging form of transport and one of the worst examples of climate injustice, so nobody should be fooled by attempts to greenwash aviation. New technologies and so-called ‘sustainable’ fuels will take decades to be used on commercial, long haul flights – and it is these flights that cause the vast majority of aviation’s climate wrecking emissions. (Check out 5 Greenwashing Factsheets here:- https://stay-grounded.org/greenwashing ). Research shows that relying on techno-fixes will not decarbonise the aviation sector rapidly enough to stay below the globally agreed 1.5 degrees C limit; and the UK government’s advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, recommends NO net expansion of UK airports and has repeatedly warned the government that technological solutions alone will be insufficient to make the aviation sector even net zero by 2050. Yet, every UK airport has plans to expand.
In this context we took to the fields and streets to counter greenwashing and aviation expansion. In what rapidly became a full Week of Action, Rising Tide UK co-ordinated the Stay Grounded activities in the UK for airports at: Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds-Bradford, London-City, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton and Stanstead. Our press spokesperson Ray Stewart said:-
"We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate-wrecking emissions is an extreme risk we cannot afford to take. Instead, we demand immediate action be taken to prevent aviation growth to cut associated emissions, for us to stand any chance of remaining within 1.5C.”
18 events for 12 UK airports showed what happens when we get together and co-ordinate united action around common themes under the Stay Grounded UK Chapter umbrella. So well done to those groups that took part and thanks to those who acted as group spokespeople, took photo's and did techy stuff. Lets have more groups covering more airports next time! We encourage those groups to visit https://stay-grounded.org/how-to-become-a-member/ .
Here's a round-up of what happened and where, with media links of which we're aware.
Given our work has so many overlapping priorities we've agreed to work together with RtP in London (& Bristol) and hold joint meetings. One of the reasons we have got together is to support this camp to highlight a future of connected communities and a climate justice movement that recognises the rights of everyone - a mass action camp for migrant and climate justice, taking direct action against new gas infrastructure built by Drax, shutting it down and also training-up and learning how to support resistance to the UK's Hostile Environment for migrants to take action later this year. https://www.facebook.com/events/584658665344782/
The Anti-Fracking-Acidisation Camp set up at OS 264-431 at junction of A217 north of Hookwood, west of Horley in Surrey, near the so-called Gatwick gusher where UKOG are planning to drill further with several new wells, needs your help. Currently very low indeed on people and obviously anyone can visit anytime but locals currently prefer the camp to be a monitoring station not a base for disruptive action. If you're interested in staying there please contact RisingTideUK by emailing email@example.com telling us a bit about yourself and we'll put you in touch. Horse Hill Monitoring Post page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1907665622633042/
"My home has melted!" mourned Santa from the streets of Horley!
Having been forced to abandon his waterlogged Lapland home due to climate breakdown caused by the burning of Fossil Fuels, Santa and his elves ironically stowed away in the lifeboats of a Liquid Natural Gas tanker to escape his now flooded former snowbound winter wonderland. Sleigh's were not an option as Rudolph and comrades are now merely starved carcass, after the recent 50% catastrophic decline in reindeer/caribou numbers due to the warmer climate in the arctic eradicating their food supply. Last Saturday, upon UK landfall the former seasonal folk made their way to Horley to find the Fossil Fool culprits who were responsible for his loss - UK Oil&Gas (UKOG),the lead company of HorseHillDevelopments Ltd, who are acid-fracking the nearby Horse Hill site. It was tragic to see Santa & his elves flaunting the Vagrancy Act and especially Santa who seemed to have turned to the drink.