I did a round-table interview today with nearly 20 business leaders* – yes it was a bit odd – just before they trooped in to discuss environmental issues with Gordon Brown at No.10.
The companies (including Tesco, Vodafone, Shell, Lloyds TSB etc etc) are all calling for the government to go further and faster with its environmental targets and do more “green” public procurement.
Alas none were prepared to comment on specific issues, namely Heathrow. And Tom Kelly, spokesman for BAA – and former No 10 henchman – was absent, despite being on the list, as his company tried to fight off a storm of protest from environmentalists over the new runway.
One other point while we’re on Heathrow.
It has been widely reported (maybe even by me somewhere) that only “green” aircraft would be allowed to use slots on the third runway under the new “Green Heathrow” plans.
This is one interpretation of the proposals. In fact Geoff Hoon told me this afternoon that no specific types of aircraft would be excluded from using the third runway. Instead, the airport operator – BAA – would be likely to impose such limits itself to stay within noise and emissions limits, he argues. That isn’t quite the same thing.
* The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change