Cllrs Paul Turpin and Douglas Johnson
Cllrs Paul Turpin and Douglas Johnson

Greens have called for the £138 million allocated to support Doncaster Sheffield Airport to be redirected to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. This would give people cheaper fuel bills with less carbon emissions.

The motion to Sheffield’s July Council meeting highlighted the proximity of other regional airports. Greens said supporting airport expansion would lead to more flights and more carbon emissions. (1)

A paper on the UK’s Net Zero Aviation ambitions, produced by the Royal Society in February 2023, said that there was,

“no single, clear, sustainable alternative to jet fuel able to support flying on a scale equivalent to present day use” (2)

Green Councillors called on the Prime Minister to support policies to lift the implicit subsidy to the aviation industry. They asked for aviation fuel to be taxed fairly so the funding raised could support long-distance rail travel.

Councillor Paul Turpin said

“Using public funding to support the expansion of aviation is incompatible with our local, regional and national climate goals. Sustainable Aviation Fuels are simply not possible in the quantities needed to maintain the existing level of flights we have today, that is very clear from the evidence.

“The millions Labour plan to use to subsidise a reopened Doncaster Sheffield Airport would be better spent investing in insulating local peoples homes. Many people are not able to afford to jet off on a foreign holiday.

“We are requesting that the Leader of Sheffield City Council tells Mayor Coppard our view that Doncaster Sheffield Airport should not reopen. We believe that the £5.3 million funding should be reallocated from supporting airport expansion to a scheme to make homes warmer.”

Cllr Douglas Johnson, who was the Green Party’s candidate for mayor of South Yorkshire, added,

“The wasted £138 million for promoting an airport could instead go to clean, green, safe public transport.

“In a climate emergency, promoting air travel is irresponsible towards our children’s generation. They will have to live with more unpredictable and dangerous climate change. We all know aviation is a major contributor to global climate change.”

“Public transport is the priority, especially buses. We need an expanded transport network. Walking, cycling, bus and tram should be the first choices for travel for everyone.”


(1) Airports near Sheffield.
(2) Royal Society Report on Net Zero Aviation. UK net zero aviation ambitions must resolve resource and research questions around alternatives to jet fuel | Royal Society