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RSPB responds to 'common sense' decision to drop Thames Estuary airport

Last modified: 02 September 2014

View over grazing marshes at the RSPB Northward Hill nature reserve

Northward Hill RSPB Reserve

Image: Gordon Langsbury

Common sense has prevailed as the Airports Commission rules out an airport in the Thames Estuary.

That’s the message from the RSPB following the publication of the Airports Commission report into the feasibility of building an airport in the Thames Estuary today.

While communities along the Thames Estuary will be breathing a sigh of relief that proposals to build on this precious wildlife hotspot have been ruled out, the battle to curb increases in carbon emissions will continue.

Chris Corrigan, south east regional director of the RSPB, said: “We have always said that the Thames Estuary is a disastrous place to put an airport. It supports many thousands of wintering birds and other wildlife.

“I sincerely hope that today’s announcement draws a line under any more similar proposals. The communities along the Estuary have been fighting plans for airports here for many years and none of them have taken into account the vital importance this area holds for many threatened species.”

The RSPB says climate change remains the greatest long term threat to wildlife. The Society believes there should be no further expansion of aviation capacity in this country until the Government can demonstrate how they can be built and operated without busting our legally binding climate targets.

Emissions from aircraft are one of the fastest increasing sources of greenhouse gases. The impacts of climate change on wildlife in the UK and abroad are already being felt with seabirds struggling to find food as sea temperatures increase. Chris Corrigan added: “Evidence shows that climate change could lead to up to a third of land-based species committed to extinction by 2050.

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