The Government has failed to take account of the environmental cost of a third runway at Heathrow, according to new research.
In its original consultation paper, the Government said that climate change costs associated with the project would be £4.8bn.
Even with this cost, it argued, the net economic benefit from the runway would be between £4.4bn and £5.2bn.
But a new analysis carried out by the Liberal Democrats based on the Government’s own newly published guidelines on the cost of CO2 would increase the environmental damage caused by a third runway to £9.3bn.
This is based on the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) revaluation of the damage caused by CO2 emissions in Carbon Valuation in UK Policy Appraisal: A Revised Approach, published in July 2009.
The Liberal Democrats say this dramatic increase would eliminate any economic benefit posed by the expansion of the airport.
‘It is time for the Government to come clean on Heathrow. Ministers know the economic rationale for a third runway is a sham because their own figures prove it,’ said Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Simon Hughes.