For immediate release*
Pictures available @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/planestupid
*Plane Stupid and AAA crash Virgin Atlantic 25th birthday party *
Activists from Plane Stupid and AAA (Action Against Agrofuels) have gate crashed Virgin Atlantic's 25th birthday party at Heathrow airport, to highlight plans to allow the aviation industry to continue to expand if it uses biofuels instead of conventional aviation fuel.
Two men, dressed as stewardesses, climbed on top of the entrance to the Virgin complex at Terminal 3 where the celebration is being held, and unfurled banners reading, "Aviation Industry: no way out" and "Climate Criminals Inside". Outside more activists, also dressed as stewardesses, are handing out leaflets to partygoers and members of the public explaining the dangers of switching to biofuels.
Virgin has been an outspoken supporter of biofuels as a solution to the steeply rising emissions from aircraft, but scientists are critical of plans to scale up their production to meet the new demand for replacement fuels.
Maryla Hart, spokesperson for AAA said, "Virgin Atlantic are claiming to be "Red Hot after 25 years", but with biofuels it's going to be a red hot planet we'll be living on. Today's celebration is all about having fun but the biggest joke of the party is that the aviation industry are selling biofuels as a green solution to their problems."
Josh Moos of Plane Stupid said, "Virgin are investing massively in trying to make biofuels work, but biofuels are no way out for the aviation industry. It's farcical to suggest that biofuels are the answer when last year it took 150,000 coconuts to provide just 5% of the fuel for a one-way flight from London to Amsterdam. In reality it will be other vegetable oil blends such as palm oil powering aircraft, but the soaring demand for palm oil is already driving tropical deforestation."
Dee Rughani of AAA added, "The aviation industry is pretending that biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions when all the peer reviewed science states that the opposite is true. Whether it's palm oil or 2nd generation biofuels, both will still compete for land, so any growth in this industry will add further to the 100 million people already going hungry due to biofuels whilst exacerbating tropical forest destruction and climate change."
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