28. The forecast growth in aviation represents one
of the most unsustainable trends in UK society. It will contribute
hugely to global warming and will exacerbate the difficulty of
achieving the reductions in greenhouse gases which will be vital
if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But it
is also based on a form of consumerism which is hard to reconcile
with the need to develop the concept of sustainable consumption.
29. We have never advocated a 'hair shirt' response
to such challenges. However, we do believe that aviation represents
one area where it is incumbent on Government to lead the way.
Yet the White Paper represents a lost opportunity in various
ways: a failure to begin the arduous task of changing hearts
and minds; a failure to utilise available policy instruments to
promote sustainablerather than unsustainablegrowth;
and a failure to learn from our experience in other related areas
such as road transport.
30. We said last year that the airports consultation
"fails to take on board the new direction in policy initiated
by the Government's Energy White Paper; while the growth proposed
in aviationeven on a constrained basiswould
wreck the aspirations it contains." The Future
of Air Transport White Paper has done nothing to alter our
view: aviation policy remains the most glaring example of the
failure of Government to put sustainable development at the heart
of policy making.