Airport expansion faces backlash but owners make carbon neutral pledge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 May 2019

An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future.

An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future.

Bristol Airport

Teachers from Ontario have shown their support after a video made by a group of students opposed to Bristol Airport's Expansion plans went viral.

An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future.An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future.

The video, created by the teenagers as part of the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign has been seen more than 57,000, and shared 634 times, since being posted to Facebook, on April 14.

Many Ontario teachers have come out in support of the campaign and have said they will be voicing their concerns with the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan (OTPP), about its investment in Bristol Airport.

Ontario teacher, Kim Deyarmond-Wallace, thanked the teens for their 'clear and informed video'.

She said: "I have emailed OTPP and indicated my money should be invested elsewhere.

The four students video letter called on Ontario teachers to reconsider their backing of the Bristol Airport Expansion. L-R: Libby Scott, Mya-Rose Craig, Will Scott, Scarlett Vestor.The four students video letter called on Ontario teachers to reconsider their backing of the Bristol Airport Expansion. L-R: Libby Scott, Mya-Rose Craig, Will Scott, Scarlett Vestor.

"Hopefully together we can make a change."

Former teacher, Tim Grant, said: "I was aware it had heavily invested in urban sprawl via suburban and rural shopping centres. It is going to be tough to change the OTPP's investment patterns, but it is a fight that we must engage in."

Elizabeth Hofmann, a retired teacher, said: "I certainly don't want others affected environmentally by my plan's investments - I'm sure OTTP could find better, healthier investments."

Student Libby Scott, is 'delighted' with the response the video has had.

She said: "To see so many people, particularly members of the OTPP supporting our campaign and helping us fight back has been fantastic.

"It's great to see people facing up to the sacrifices we are going to have to make, particularly when it comes to air travel if we are going to effectively tackle global warming.

"I hope the airport will now take our concerns seriously, and make the decision not to go ahead with the plans."

The OTTP has investments in several airports including minority stakes in Birmingham, Brussels, Copenhagen and London City Airport.

A spokesman for the OTPP said: "Environmental considerations play a pivotal role in everything we do.

"Brussels Airport has turned carbon neutral under OTPP ownership, something Bristol Airport plans to emulate by 2030."

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