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XR campaigners lobby Leeds Council meeting over airport expansion

EXTINCTION REBELLION campaigners lobbied a Leeds council meeting today over plans to expand the region’s international airport, drastically increasing carbon emissions in the region.

Leeds-Bradford International Airport handles four million passengers a year, but plans to increase the number to seven million in the next decade.

The airport also wants to improve transport links either through a new link road or a new railway station on an existing line.

Leeds City Council is in favour of the new railway station as part of a wider economic development plan, but has rejected the proposed new road link.

In March last year, the council joined other local authorities by declaring a “climate emergency,” pledging action to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by more than two-thirds.

But campaigners lobbying the council’s climate emergency committee today say that agreeing to the airport expansion will see emissions soar.

Jefim Vogel of Extinction Rebellion Leeds is a researcher into ecological and economic sustainability at Leeds University.

“The plan to expand the airport is clearly incompatible with the council’s declaration of a climate emergency,” he said.

“It is going to almost double the amount of carbon emissions from the airport. A few years down the line the airport will have double the amount of carbon emissions than the rest of the city.”

Labour councillor Lisa Mulherin said that providing a new railway station would “help ease congestion and air quality, while also providing a greener option for travelling to the airport.”

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