From an email sent out by GAAM…
Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM) is helping to mobilize for a ‘Global Action Week: Stay Grounded. Aviation Growth Cancelled Due to Climate Change’. The initiative is spearheaded by Vienna-based ‘System Change, Not Climate Change!’. The event is taking place end of September/beginning of October to coincide with the annual assembly of the UN aviation organization (ICAO) in Montreal. Groups and individuals from all continents are invited to join in to say NO! to more aviation growth and airport expansion projects.
As of this writing, major actions are planned in Vienna, London, Mexico City, Notre-Dame-des-Landes (near Nantes, France), and Istanbul. Mexican activists fighting a destructive aerotropolis project near Mexico City have already come up with a very impressive program (see archived copy ‘GAW-Mexico’ in Spanish, English and French).
Any input – big or small – will help to make a difference. Activities may vary from:
- public awareness raising campaigns (e.g. by producing articles, statements, petitions; photos/videos; writing letters to concerned authorities/companies, etc.);
- meetings to discuss the issues;
- photo exhibitions;
- artistic performances (street theatre, concerts);
- family-friendly peaceful walks;
- tree-planting events; and,
- flash mobs to protest rallies.
Concerned groups and citizens are encouraged to sign on and share the global petition, called ‘No aviation growth! No false climate solutions!’.
Undoubtedly, aviation is a massively polluting industry and one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions. Yet, climate change is still conspicuously absent from any discussion around aviation growth. Aviation was excluded from the Paris Agreement signed by the world’s nations at the UN conference (COP21) last December. Therefore, we believe it is high time to step up public pressure at the global level:
- to stop unnecessary and destructive airport expansion schemes;
- to ensure that aviation is included in all climate change agreements, targets and regulations; and
- to achieve actual reductions in aviation emissions instead of false solutions (such as the fake remedies of ‘offsetting’ projects and biofuels).
Well aware of the criticisms, the aviation industry is going all-out to make sure that discussions at the forthcoming ICAO assembly will focus on how aviation supports ‘sustainable development’. The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), for example, has published a glossy, image-cultivating report, entitled ‘Aviation: Benefits beyond borders’ (July 2016) that provides good insight into the industry’s green-washing attempts and among other things makes preposterous claims on how aviation will help to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals (see attachment: aviation-SDGs). An archived copy of the full ATAG report can be viewed/downloaded here.
The Global Action Week will be a good opportunity for concerned people to preempt the industry’s nonsensical arguments. Solid evidence will be presented, showing the real and substantial harm done by aviation expansion:
- …harm to local communities around the world,
- …harm to the environment,
- …and harm to our climate.
Please let GAAM know your ideas and plans for the Global Action Week! And, please regularly check here for updates on the campaign.