Environmental pollution

With significant development of Wanaka Airport, we face busier and more congested roads, degradation of water quality and other environmental pollution.

  • We believe QAC has not demonstrated full consideration of the environmental impact of an airport redevelopment in Wanaka or demonstrated the ability to meet New Zealand tourisms sustainability commitment.
  • We believe QLDC has made decisions which are completely at odds with a local authority which recently voted to declare a climate emergency.

Serious climate impacts

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time.

It will have diverse and unforeseen impacts, which include the destruction of entire ecosystems, and threatens the future of many living beings on the planet – human and non-human. The root causes of climate change are known: an economy based on fossil fuels and on the never-ending extraction of natural resources, and a way of living, especially in the Global North, that doesn’t respect planetary boundaries.

Yet, as our experience with decades of international ecology and climate summits has shown, the necessary changes in our system are not to be expected from our leaders or from a majority of society. The dominant climate mitigation strategies and environmental programs work too slowly, don’t address the roots of the problems or even promote dangerous false solutions. Profit interests, competition, and comfort still prevent the most-needed deeper changes from being implemented. We cannot keep waiting, we need to act as civil society.

The consequences of more jets

Jet aviation is the most climate harming mode of transport. Aircraft emit various other substances in addition to CO2, leading to an overall climate impact of aviation that is at least double the effect of the emitted CO2 alone.

While two decades ago flying was still something special, today in most parts of the world it has become normal to fly somewhere for just a weekend. Work relations are often built upon the existence of cheap flights and ever more trade of goods is being done by airplane.

Aviation produces already a significant part of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, despite less than 10 per cent of the world’s population flying. This privileged mode of transport is at the expense of others: residents exposed to noise and particle pollution, local ecosystems and future generations who are already bearing the brunt of the impacts of the climate crisis.

This is a crisis which will only become worse, as the emissions from aviation are expected to quadruple until 2050.

Wanaka should not be adding to this problem.

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