On Tuesday 26th November 2019 Green Party candidates from Cornwall will be joined by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Green Party Peer, as they attend the Full Council meeting at County Hall, Truro, where the controversial funding for the Newquay Spaceport will be decided.
Jenny Jones, Green Party Peer and Cornwall Green Party parliamentary candidates are to attend the public meeting to put pressure on Cornwall Councillors to reject the proposed £12 million funding for Newquay Spaceport.
Karen La Borde, Green Party Candidate for Camborne and Redruth, has been campaigning against the proposed investment in the Spaceport since May 2019, on four counts.
Firstly, Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency in January 2019 and should be focussed on decreasing not increasing emissions.
Secondly, £12 million could be better spent on services to mitigate climate change such as Cornwall’s transport infrastructure.
Thirdly, Cornwall Council’s business case for the Spaceport puts Cornish tax payers money at risk. Virgin has not yet made a successful horizontal launch of a satellite, the next attempted launch is now postponed until the 31st December 2019.
Fourthly, there is no legal contract in place between Virgin and Cornwall Council, so Virgin could withdraw at any time, this would mean Cornwall Council could spend £12 million updating the airport which may not be used and become a stranded asset.
The Conservative Government has consistently ignored and hidden information on transport emissions. The Department of Transport knows that aviation and shipping emissions are excluded from its calculations. If councils and governments continue to do nothing, or worse, continue to grant approval for high polluting investments, then emissions from transport will rise by at least 55% by 2030.
We are in the midst of a General Election which has the climate emergency at the centre. All parties are making bold statements and pledges to reach net zero carbon emissions, the Spaceport decision comes at a time when it is crucial for both government and local councils to lead the way on the climate emergency.
Karen La Borde, Green Party Candidate for Camborne & Redruth said:
“When it comes to Cornwall Council agreeing to an upgrade to Newquay airport to take larger aircraft to support Richard Branson’s and the government’s attempts to create a so-called Spaceport in Cornwall – we should be afraid. This will increase emissions – and guess what? The Department for Transport won’t count these emissions. Ask your Conservative candidate in this election – ‘Are we or are we not still on track for net zero carbon by 2050?’
Since 2015 the outgoing Conservative Government failed to create pathways or policies to reduce emissions from transport. Instead it actively encouraged the third runway at Heathrow as well as the building of new roads. Where are its plans to reduce emissions from transport? We seek them here, we seek them there, but can’t find them anywhere!”