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Heathrow will continue to play its part in reducing emissions across the airport

Heathrow will continue to play its part in reducing emissions across the airport

PoliticsHome | Heathrow

2 min read Partner content

Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment Matt Gorman responds to Diane Abbott MP who has written for Central Lobby today about her parliamentary debate on London air pollution.

In today’s Westminster Hall debate and in her post on this site, Labour mayoral hopeful Diane Abbott MP made an impassioned call to cut London’s air pollution levels.  Ms Abbott called on agencies in London to work together to deliver a healthier and cleaner living environment for London’s population and Heathrow airport is committed to playing its part to reduce emissions. In the capital, though, the poorest levels of air quality are to be found alongside our roads and motorways - along Marylebone High Street and Oxford Street in the West End, for example. At Heathrow, two sites near the airport have been seen to exceed air quality limits – they are right next to the M4, one of the busiest stretches of motorway in the country.

Ms Abbott wrongly attributes all of this traffic to Heathrow. She also questioned whether expansion here would be compatible with improvements in air quality in London. For the record, we have always said that Heathrow expansion should only go ahead within EU air quality limits and we have designed our North West runway proposal to do so. In its recent consultation, the Airports Commission has also been clear that our proposal can be delivered within those limits and will not delay EU compliance.



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Today, the contribution of Heathrow to the two  monitoring stations that breach limits north of the M4 is low: 16% at one and 6% at the other. We understand air quality is a real concern for local communities and an issue London needs to tackle urgently. We have a good track record of improving air quality, and have reduced emissions from airport activity by 16% over five years. For example by incentivising airlines to bring their cleanest, quietest aircraft to Heathrow. We have also recently announced a 10 point planto deal with airport emissions in the coming years, including the designation of Heathrow as an Ultra-Low Emission Zone by 2025.

We are committed to working with government, local authorities and the Mayor of London – Mr Johnson and whomever succeeds him – to make concerted and prompt action to decrease vehicle emissions and for Heathrow to continue playing our part to reduce emissions across the airport.

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