Luton Council – What They’ve Excluded from their Emission Targets

Anyone living in Luton will be familiar with Luton Borough Council’s (LBC) weasel words regarding its commitment to net zero by 2040.  Now it wants the public to fill out a survey regarding that goal and what it claims to be hoping to achieve.  We are happy to provide a link but there is something (LBC) don’t want to talk about.

In support of the survey the Council makes the following opening statement:

 Luton Council Climate Change Policy

“As part of Luton’s 2040 vision, it is the commitment of Luton Borough Council (LBC) to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the council estate and operations to net zero as well as lead the way to a net zero Luton town by 2040”

In an accompanying document the following statement is made regarding its airport:


“Aiming to be the UK’s most sustainable airport.
Low carbon transport to and from the airport for passengers and employees.
Maximise benefits of economic development to bring low carbon solutions to the town”

Reinforcing this statement, concerned residents visiting any of the consultation events regarding airport expansion were told that the Council intends to set in stone a law containing a legally binding commitment to reduce the impact on the environment, as the airport expands.

So, what is missing and what does LBC not want to talk about?    AIRCRAFT

With the near planned doubling of aircraft movements from Luton, pollution from aircraft is set to nearly double, yet they are excluded from LBC’s proposal.

Emissions from aviation are a significant contributor to climate change. Airplanes burn fossil fuel which not only releases CO2 emissions but also has strong warming non-CO2 effects due to nitrogen oxides (NOx), vapour trails and cloud formation triggered by the altitude at which aircraft operate. These non-CO2 effects contribute twice as much to global warming as aircraft CO2 and were responsible for two-thirds of aviation’s climate impact in 2018.

Emissions from aircraft are growing faster than any other mode of transport. CO2 emissions alone from flights within Europe have increased 28% between 2013 and 2019, and at Luton it is closer to 60% while other sectors have reduced their emissions. As a result, the emissions of all flights departing from an EU airport have grown from 1.4% of total EU emissions in 1990 to 3.7% today. If unmitigated, aviation emissions are expected to double or triple by 2050 and in doing so consume up to one-quarter of the global carbon budget under a 1.5 degree scenario.

This is a Council that talks the talk but actually, it would seem, cares little about the environment, as it refuses to even acknowledge that aircraft operating at Luton create pollution and are a contributor to global warming and the town’s high pollution.

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