Climate Change and Carbon of the PEIR evaluates the resilience of the design, construction and operation of the Project to potential climate change impacts; the combined effects of the Project and potential climate change impacts on the receiving environment; and the likely effect of the Project on greenhouse gas emissions. The climate change resilience assessment considered two scenario periods. The greenhouse gas assessment considered the impacts arising from the construction of the Project and the operation of the airport in future years. 

Assessment Methodology

Climate Change Resilience and In-combination Climate Change Impacts

Information regarding current and projected future climate conditions has been used in the climate change resilience and in-combination climate change impacts assessments. Three sets of climate data have been assembled:

  • current climate conditions - based on observed weather observations;
  • future climate scenario for 2020-2049 ('2030s'); and
  • future climate scenario for 2050-2079 ('2060s').

These climate data sets are based on the most recent and comprehensive climate change projections for the UK. In addition to projections for future climate they also contain a comprehensive set of observed historical climate observations.

Greenhouse Gas Assessment

The greenhouse gas assessment considers the emissions of greenhouse gases arising from the Project.

In the absence of actual consumption data for specific activities it has been necessary to draw on benchmark information to understand typical operations. The future baseline greenhouse gas emissions are based on developing forecasts of activity data.

Current Baseline Environment

Climate Change Resilience and In-combination Climate Change Impacts

Information regarding historical climate conditions at Gatwick Airport was obtained from the national observed climate data sets. All the data for the current baseline were obtained from this source. Baseline data collection included climate averages and information regarding occurrence of extreme weather events, including hot days, frost days, heavy rainfall and dry spells.

Greenhouse Gas Assessment

The baseline refers to Gatwick’s greenhouse gas emissions in the calendar year 2018. It draws together information from a range of documents, analyses and sources.

Baseline construction emissions are considered to be zero for the purposes of the assessment.

Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas during construction and operation would be implemented across a wide range of emissions sources, including design optimisation, energy strategy, surface access strategies, and airport operations. A full assessment of the benefits of mitigation has not been carried out for the PEIR but will be included in the Environmental Statement.

Potential Significant Effects

The climate change resilience assessment identified several risks as being high or very high during the construction and operational phase of the Project, for example the increased number of very hot days brings the risk of overheating in temporary building accommodation for construction workers, or passengers and staff in operational terminal buildings. A number of measures have been designed as embedded mitigation as part of the other environmental topics which would also reduce the potential for impacts in terms of resilience (eg flood risk mitigation). With such measures in place, significant effects are not likely.

No significant effects have been identified through the in-combination climate change impacts assessment for the construction or operational phases of the Project.

The greenhouse gas assessment has assessed the calculated greenhouse gas emissions arising from the Project and confirms that these would be significant, in line with current guidance which considers all new emissions arising from development as significant. The Project would incorporate a range of embedded environmental design measures that would contribute positively to mitigation of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Project. Work to develop mitigation activities remains ongoing, including the development of an energy strategy to address energy efficiency, efficiency of energy supply and renewable energy, and the impact of these on greenhouse gases will be included in the Environmental Statement.

The approach to managing cumulative greenhouse gas emissions across the UK is through the adoption of carbon budgets as developed by the Committee on Climate Change. The greenhouse gas assessment undertaken for the Project has considered whether the Project materially impacts the UK's ability to meet its carbon reduction targets and carbon budgets by 2050.


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