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Greenpeace Reaches for the Skies

text: Jenni Hollis

Four Greenpeace volunteers breached Heathrow security yesterday before attaching a banner to the tailfin of a British Airways jet reading: “Climate Emergency - No Third Runway”.

The Airbus A320, which had just seen its passengers disembark at Terminal 1, was singled out as one of the 32 flights that fly from London to Manchester every day - a journey that according to Greenpeace could easily be made by train.

The international campaign organisation, a member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, also took the opportunity to raise awareness of the 100,000 flights made from the airport each year to what, it claims, are destinations again easily reachable by rail.

“We have exposed a hole in security,” said protestor Sarha Shoraka. “But what we are trying to do is expose a hole in the argument for expanding Heathrow.”

The protest took place just two days before the end of Government consultation on the expansion of the world’s biggest airport.

Greenpeace will also be hoping the high profile stunt will reveal a major flaw in Gordon Brown’s current climate change policy. In a statement on the organisation’s website, a spokesperson said: “If the aviation industry is allowed to expand as predicted, aviation alone would destroy any hope of hitting his emissions reductions targets.

The activists were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and being in a restricted area before being bailed pending further enquiries, according to a Metropolitan police spokesman.

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published: 18:30 - 26 February 2008