No to Alibaba at Liege Airport!
We refuse to allow Alibaba to settle in Liege Airport and any extension of the airport, for the following reasons.
Environment and climate
- The airport extension is incompatible with fighting climate change. Alibaba setting up its activity hub (?) in Liège would mean a significant increase in air and road traffic, thus an increase in the release of GES. This goes against the Paris Agreement on climate, to which Belgium has subscribed, and cancels any effort to keep the rise in average temperature under 1.5°C. It is in total contradiction with the more ambitious climate goals of the Walloon government.
- Huge surfaces would be covered with concrete in order to build Alibaba’s infrastructures. This extension would be at the expense of arable land that is known to be the best in Wallonia, thus threatening our food security.
Saturation of local roads
- 1,500 more lorries would drive on the Liège road network every day. This additional flow is not taken into account in the mobility blueprints that already herald a saturation of the road network. This would lead to increasingly severe traffic jams [(in duration and in slowing down traffic)].
- The road traffic resulting from the airport’s activities would increase the motor vehicle pollution that is already quite significant in the Liége area. It is one of the main sources of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. Now it is estimated that pollution through nitrogen oxides is responsible for 1.600 premature deaths per year in Belgium.
- When near to the ground, planes release numerous pollutants among which are nitrogen monoxide and ultrafine particles. Scientists warn about how dangerous this kind of pollution can be as it insinuates itself deep into our bodies.
- Noise resulting from night flights of heavy cargo planes is detrimental to the health of citizens beyond the neighbouring municipalities. Stress and the qualité of sleep are directly impacted.
Economy and employment
- The number of jobs created is highly uncertain, and they would be low-grade jobs (precarious, highly controlled night jobs and the like) and would destroy other jobs, in other economic sectors. Moreover, most jobs in logistics are likely to become robotized in the middle term.
- E-commerce, in particular, is bad for the regional economy, as it sets local retailers in direct competition withproducts imported over long distances, sold cheaper, at times counterfeit, often of lesser quality and produced in dubious conditions. For each job created in the field of e-commerce, two or three are destroyed in traditional commerce.
- E-commerce is bad for public revenue since it makes evading VAT and tax avoidance easier.
- We denounce the cost, to be supported by tax-payers, such as new roads or healthcare for the benefit of a private company that would create little value locally.
More generally we refuse the economic model embodied by Alibaba, which involves high energy consumption and goods that travel long distances, a model that is the very opposite of what we want in social, environmental and economic terms.
We also oppose a decision that has been enforced without any information to and with citizens or any independent and comprehensive impact assessment.
For these various reasons, Alibaba setting up a hub in Liège Airport and the airport extension are anything but a project for the future. We therefore proclaim our whole-hearted opposition to the Walloon government and those who support the project such as Liege Airport, Nethys and the Federal Government.
We ask them to abandon the planned arrival of Alibaba at Liège Airport as well as the airport extension as soon as possible. We want a different kind of development for Liège and Wallonia!
Share the info ! And act against this harmful project !