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.