The impact of Bristol Airport expansion plans
Our video plea to Ontario Teachers
about the impact of Bristol Airport expansion plans
‘Your retirement income will cost us our health, our well-being and our environment. Are you happy with this?’
Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl
Working with the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion Alliance, myself and 3 other school pupils have made a video film appealing directly to teachers in the Ontario region in Canada, asking them to take a hard look at the environmental and social impact of their pension fund investment in Bristol Airport. Bristol Airport is owned and run by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP).
The OTPP is one of the world’s largest institutional investors. We decided to ask the Ontario teachers if they believed the drive for profit to maximise their pensions is worth the damage further expansion of Bristol Airport would cause:
‘Your retirement income will cost us our health, our well-being and our environment. Are you happy with this? We are asking you to think about the price that we are paying for your retirement. We are asking you to take stock. We are asking for your help.’
The short film was filmed in the Mendip Hills AONB, taking in the Lulsgate site of the airport.
We were making the point that:
‘The Airport site will sprawl into the protected area of the Green Belt, harming wildlife habitats, insect populations and the rural landscape around the Mendip Hills, one of our national Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’
The film joins the national actions taken recently by school students in the UK and across the world to focus attention on pollution and climate change. The Airport is the main cause of traffic pollution and congestion to the south of Bristol. Airport expansion will destroy swathes of the Green Belt for additional parking and increase other hazards such as illegal car parking in surrounding fields and villages.
We were questioning why it is necessary to increase passenger numbers by 50% by 2022 when the Airport loses money on budget flights. To increase income against aviation loss, and boost the value of the airport, OTPP must suck in yet more cars for the hugely profitable parking operation:
‘The Airport is very badly served by public transport. It has one dedicated coach service and no rail links. So 69% of passengers arrive by car – a greater number of cars than in any other European airport. Your pension fund knows this and wants to take advantage.’
Traffic South of Bristol
We ended the video with a direct appeal to the teachers of Ontario to take stock and refuse to accept unethical and unsustainable investment as the basis for their pensions:
‘We are asking you to think about the price that we are paying for your retirement. We are asking you to take stock. We are asking for your help.’
For further information see: