Protesters outside the event (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
By Mike Smallcombe,
Published by Cornwall Live, 22 January 2020
CORNWALL SPACEPORT PROTEST
A small group of climate change campaigners gathered outside a Spaceport talk to protest against the £20 million project.
The three campaigners claim that the “disruption” was staged to mark the first anniversary of Cornwall Council’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ in January last year.
They gathered outside a ‘tea and talk’ given by Spaceport Cornwall director Miles Carden and his team at the Kresen Kernow archive centre in Redruth on Wednesday afternoon.
Cornwall Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with Virgin Orbit which would operate its European operations from Spaceport Cornwall at Newquay Airport.
If all licenses and legislation are processed as expected the first launch could take place from Spaceport Cornwall in 2021. It is expected that over the first five years of the project it would reach a point of having eight launches a year.
A £20m investment package includes over £10 million of Cornwall Council funding, £7.85m from the UK Space Agency and £2.5m from Virgin Orbit.
The project has been criticised by some campaigners, who say that it goes against the council’s declaration of a climate emergency a year ago today.
They say the Spaceport will increase carbon emissions and waste millions of pounds at a time when the council should be spending money on projects that directly help local people and drastically reduce emissions.
The three protesters gave trees and plants to attendees outside the tea and talk event, as well as stickers saying ‘Earth Not Space’ and flyers explaining their objections to the project.
One of them, Nic Anderson, said it felt like “some kind of sick joke” for the Spaceport team to stage the event on the anniversary of the ‘climate emergency’ declaration.
“We only have 11 years left to drastically reduce our carbon emissions in Cornwall to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees,” she said.
“Just because people are building spaceports somewhere else, it doesn’t mean we should join in. We should be making a stand.
See: Original Article