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Extinction Rebellion activists protest against Business Design Centre's 'dreadful decision' to host World Aviation Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:55 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 September 2019

Extinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia Woodin

Extinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia Woodin

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Eco campaigners rallied against an Upper Street venue's "dreadful decision" to host the World Aviation Festival.

Extinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia WoodinExtinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia Woodin

Extinction Rebellion activists are aghast at the Business Design Centre's choice to host the festival last week, where some 400 industry heavyweights will speak but no one is expected to discuss the carbon impact of flying.

Festival organisers have argued "sustainability is a hot topic in the industry and as a result it will be at the show", but activists claim this is "green washing" and the event is geared towards "increasing aviation sector growth".

Activists leafleted outside, performed the premier of playwright April de Angelis' Plane Truth and were then due to go on a silent march through Islington.

"We are in the middle of an enormous emergency at the moment," said XR's Lola Perrin, who coordinated the Plane Truth Procession.

Extinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia WoodinExtinction Rebellion activists involved in the Plane Truth performance outside Business Design Centre, where the World Aviation Festival is being held. Picture: Talia Woodin

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"We have all got to work together to get emissions down, and that is not what this conference is about, and if you are going to have a World Aviation Festival and not discuss the importance of that it shouldn't be going ahead - it's putting us all in an extremely dangerous situation."

The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states the world has until 2030 to avoid an increase of 1.5°C in global temperatures if its to "reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being".

Lola added: "I think Islington residents are really shocked because this is the seventh year it's been there and nobody had known about it. I don't think it should be anywhere in the world now the UK has declared an emergency. You can't declare a climate and ecological emergency and then host this event.

Extinction Rebellion Activtist outside the Islington Design Centre where the World Aviation is being held from September 4, 2019. Picture: XR IslingtonExtinction Rebellion Activtist outside the Islington Design Centre where the World Aviation is being held from September 4, 2019. Picture: XR Islington

"Another problem with out way of life is this sense of entitlement where we just jump on a plane without considering the impact of our behaviour - we have to challenge the whole system."

A spokesperson for the festival said: "With so many CEOs attending, the environment is naturally a big topic on the agenda."

They pointed out there are sessions such as "using AI to become more sustainable" and "what does a sustainable future look like for an airline CEO" at the event.

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