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  • Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate

Don't Fly Away Our Future

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Recently, our friends in Extinction Rebellion have been leading a series of protests in Weston-super-Mare to object to the expansion of Bristol Airport.

After North Somerset Council rejected airport expansion in early 2020, the Airport has now appealed and an inquiry is now taking place.

We previously stood against airport expansion at our strikes - our ones in May and June of 2019 were focused on this issue.

That is why on Wednesday morning we gathered outside Weston-super-Mare Town Hall to tell North Somerset Council and the inquiry our message: Don't Fly Away Out Future!

We brought a banner, some flares and read out our open letter.

“We are on the brink of an irreversible disaster - airport expansion is the opposite of what is needed. Over the past two and a half years, the people of Bristol and North Somerset have repeatedly shown that we reject airport expansion in any form. Today we delivered our message: Don’t Fly Away Our Future.” - Torin, BYS4C

This was our first in-person action since the start of the pandemic; it's sad to be on the same local issue that us and so many other groups have been campaigning on for the past two and a half years.

Our open letter:

Dear North Somerset Council, We are BYS4C and we need you to reject the Bristol airport expansion appeal. The proposed airport expansion would bring over an additional million tonnes of emissions, an additional two million passengers a year, as well as over 10,000 additional car movements a day, which would of course cause large amounts of air pollution. As young people, we are more susceptible to the detrimental health effects of air pollution and many of us have spent our whole lives breathing Bristol’s criminally polluted air - Bristol airport's proposed expansion would simply put more young people at risk. This would be a catastrophic setback in reaching the goal of net zero by 2050, and being compliant with the Paris agreement as well as the Climate Change Act. Accepting this appeal would mean leaving it to younger generations to come up with climate solutions, rather than tackling it like the emergency it is. This relates to how climate change is often seen as a “future problem” despite the fact that many in the world are experiencing the effects of climate and ecological breakdown 84% of North Somerset residents who commented on the Bristol airport expansion plan objected to it, meaning the council going against their previous decision would be throwing out the overwhelming majority of opinions. Bristol Airport cares more about their potential financial gains than they do about the health and wellbeing of local residents as well as their effects on the local environment as can be seen in their misleading claims of being carbon neutral by 2030, excluding the emissions from planes. Airport expansions are completely antithetical to climate justice. And as a council that has committed themselves to carbon neutrality by 2050 and declared a climate emergency, it’s important that you uphold your previous decision.

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