The expansion of the Madrid airport Barajas will have such a big impact on the climate targets and air pollution, that it is becoming a point of deep concern in Brussels.
In a letter to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the Minister of Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera, the co-presidents of Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, and of the European Green Party, warn them that “enlarging an airport is the opposite of what we need”.
Greens/EFA co-presidents Philippe Lamberts and Terry Reintke, together with EGP co-presidents Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz, ask the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the Minister Teresa Ribera to reconsider their priorities - and favour the transition to clean train-based interconnections with neighbouring countries and beyond, instead of an airport expansion.
The Spanish government announced a budget of €2.4 billion for the expansion last week. The expansion would increase the emission of greenhouse effect gases by 20 to 34%.
A bigger airport would also deteriorate the Madrilenian air quality. One year ago, the European Court of Justice ruled that Spain allowed nitrogen dioxide air pollution levels to systematically exceed EU limits in Madrid between 2010 and 2018. Finally, this month, the city of Madrid complied for the first time with the EU legal parameters of air quality. Extending the airport might put these numbers into the red again.