Climate change protests target easyJet

06-11-2006

Climate change protests target easyJet
Environmental campaigners have today occupied a building connected to low-cost airline easyJet in protest at the damaging effects of shorthaul flights.

Twelve activists from Plane Stupid climbed onto the roof of the easyGroup building in Oval Road, Camden, at 06:50 GMT today, leaving about four hours later.

The campaigners say that shorthaul flights are the major contributing factor towards climate change and should be replaced by more environmentally-friendly train services.

Plane Stupid founder Joss Gorman explained that easyJet had been targeted because the company is "quite symbolic of the binge-flying that is causing climate change".

Today's protest coincides with UN climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya, and comes two days after more than 10,000 climate change demonstrators swamped the streets of London.

Plane Stupid also claims to have placed locks across 25 travel agents' front doors around Britain.

Andy Nash, one of today's campaigners, said: "As warnings mount about the irreversible effects of climate change, it is totally out of order for easyJet to be offering artificially cheap flights to destinations easily reachable by the train alternative which is over ten times less polluting."

Leo Murray, another activist, added: "The politicians will jet off to Nairobi this week to continue with their bleating about the need for action on climate change."

Responding to today's protests, a spokesperson for easyJet emphasised that the company was in fact based in Luton, with demonstrators' efforts instead directed against a firm responsible for the overall group's various business interests.

"And as far as calling for the end of short-haul flying, again they do not appear to have done their homework. A flight from London to Miami emits ten times more than a flight from London to Nice.

"easyJet is in fact one of the world's most environmentally efficient airlines and takes it environmental responsibilities very seriously."

The representative added that the airline "welcomes the opportunity to take part in a serious debate about the environmental impact of longhaul flying. Unfortunately, we have noted how too much of the debate to date has focused on ill-informed comment".


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