Boarding the barge at around 9:00am this morning, the protestors pitched tents under the 420 square metre wing, and are hoping to force the transporter back to its base in Broughton, North Wales. Latest reports suggest that a swelling police presence will now make that impossible.
Speaking from his tent, activist Leo Murray who was personally injuncted by BAA last week, described the threat of climate change as a ‘planetary emergency’:
‘Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response, and that’s why we’ve set up a climate camp under the wing on an Airbus super-jumbo,’ he said.
Countering the claims made by Airbus that the A380 is an ‘environmentally-friendly aircraft’, consuming 12 percent less fuel that its competitors, Murray said:
‘Waiting for an aeroplane that doesn’t cause climate change is like holding out for a cigarette that doesn’t cause cancer. It’s just not scientifically credible.’
He added: ‘These new airliners aren’t being manufactured to clean-up the aviation industry, they’re being built to significantly enlarge it.’
The pressure group said that a significant step towards tackling emissions from aviation would be to scrap plans for a third runway at Heathrow.
In a statement, Airbus said that whilst it agreed with people’s right to protest, all demonstrations must be lawful and responsible.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist August 2007