Extinction Rebellion to protest at Leeds Bradford Airport against expansion plan

Members of Extinction Rebellion Leeds after a protest in May 2019.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Leeds after a protest in May 2019.
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Climate campaigners are to stage a demonstration at Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) in protest against its planned expansion.

Extinction Rebellion (ER) are calling on Leeds City Council to withdraw its endorsement of the expansion and to refuse to fund more roads to accommodate it.

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Activists are to stage a peaceful protest in Whitehouse Lane, from noon until 3pm on Thursday to coincide with Clean Air Day.

They say the council is contradicting its own declaration of a 'climate emergency', which councillors made in March after pressure from the Leeds Youth Strike for Climate campaigners.

An ER spokeswoman said: "An expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport is not only a direct contradiction to this declaration, but it set to put more lives at risk through the increased levels of air pollution it will force on the surrounding communities.

"In Leeds alone, 700 deaths every year can already be attributed to our local air pollution, which is at levels that are breaking the law."

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ER called on people to bring banners and placards to show the airport owners, the council and the public they will 'not watch quietly while they destroy our futures'.

The spokeswoman added: "Our planet’s darkest hour is upon us - we are in an emergency.

"Annihilation of our wildlife, runaway pollution and climate breakdown are putting the future of our country at stake, as well as the future of our children and of the planet we live on.

"Economic development does not need to be based on building more roads and more flying.

"We call on Leeds to invest in sectors that do not jeopardise its climate targets or pollute the air we breathe."

LBA have been contacted for comment.

The council said last month that it was committed to making Leeds a carbon-neutral city and was taking action, but said 'achieving the necessary targets won’t be possible without the widespread support of individuals, organisations and central Government.'