Four reasons to vote Green

Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity and it has been largely being ignored or sidelined by the bigger political parties. Yet last year was the hottest on record and those records are being beaten at an increasing rate. Huge cracks are emerging in the polar ice at the same time as Trump has tried to sink the Paris climate change deal. Labour has refused to oppose Heathrow expansion, which is the single most damaging policy/project for climate change and air pollution.

A Green vote sends a message that action on climate change is vital and puts pressure on all parties to take it seriously.

Image result for climate change ice

We need to address inequality, reduce the queues for food banks, and stop the NHS from collapsing, but both Labour and the Conservatives would waste billions of taxpayer pounds on Trident. Labour would also condemn the next generation to decades of paying huge energy bills for a new set of outdated and redundant nukes.

A Green vote sends a message that our money needs to be invested in renewable energy, emerging green industries and future technologies, not 1950s reboots.

We mustn’t reward Labour tribalism. We Greens have done our generous best in standing down in 30 constituencies where there is a close contest, but Labour doesn’t even support PR, a fairer voting system. Labour has even expelled activists who supported a progressive alliance attempt to unseat Jeremy Hunt by swinging behind a doctor standing as an NHS candidate. I admire the local Green parties who have made the sacrifice, but Corbyn’s Labour Party have failed to respond and engage.

A Green vote is a reminder that fair votes are an essential part of rebuilding our democracy.

Just like Caroline Lucas, I welcome the fact that so many of the Green Party ideas from our 2015 manifesto have become Labour Party policy under Corbyn. I spent 16 years on the London Assembly encouraging Ken Livingstone and even Boris Johnson, to ‘steal’ the Green Party’s ideas and put them into practice. The Living Wage Unit, Same Sex Partnerships, hire bikes and a lengthy list of other green proposals were implemented as we changed the world via proxy. That only happened because of the large numbers of Londoners who regularly voted Green.

A Green vote carries huge influence even when we aren’t in power.

We need more green voices in Parliament to ensure that positive changes happen. We need Green votes across the country to keep up the pressure on the main parties to take climate change, fair votes and social equality seriously.

A Green vote is for a healthier, happier, fairer and safer society

Finance is key to local energy independence

The creation of local energy companies could be the best way for Mayors and local authorities to reduce costs for residents and clean up energy supplies. The six metro areas across the U.K. electing a mayor for the first time, don’t have to wait for the Government to create nationally applicable policies, they can act now to create strong policies of their own.     

My new report shows the abundant opportunities for action, from small solar panel installations on schools to utility-scale wind and solar farms.  Some local governments have already proposed ideas like these, although have not yet started the projects.  To make implementation of these policies more realistic, mayors and councils should map out energy action plans to ensure that their budgets can sustain the plans.

Residents should put pressure on their local leaders to utilise resources in the region and clean up the energy sector.  Local leaders should similarly pressure the Government to ensure inadequate funding to carry out the implementation of ambitious energy plans.  There must be cooperation at all levels of governing in order to have a healthier energy marketplace.

Metro Mayors Energy Report LR

State schools punished for doing the right thing

My research in today’s Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/solar-powered-schools-bill-business-rates-rise-england-wales

Schools could face a business rates bill totaling £1.8 million if the Valuation Office Agency goes ahead with plans to remove the exemption for small non-domestic installations. Continue reading “State schools punished for doing the right thing”

Community energy still in the dark over its future

In a dark and stormy year, one sunny news story has been the continued growth of solar power around the world. It’s now coming in cheaper than coal and gas in the sunniest parts of the world, and prices are still dropping in the UK too. Continue reading “Community energy still in the dark over its future”

Heathrow is now the litmus test for action on climate change

The government’s advisory body on Climate Change has pointed out the obvious; you can’t expand Heathrow if you are serious about meeting the climate change targets that all mainstream political parties are signed up to. The Davis Commission relied upon the Committee on Climate Change and a huge hike in fares as its way of justifying the Heathrow option. That fig leaf has now disappeared. We should be clear that MPs who vote for Heathrow expansion can’t ever claim to be taking climate change seriously.

heathrow-plane-above-houses

Continue reading “Heathrow is now the litmus test for action on climate change”

Budget fuel duty freeze is bad for climate change and air pollution

“The Chancellor’s decision to freeze fuel duty for the seventh year running is bad news for climate change, air pollution and public health. Our country has returned to the bad old days of rising traffic growth and the main political parties are competing over who will build more roads. It’s like the anti-roads campaigns of the early 1990s never happened and our pollution crisis doesn’t exist. Continue reading “Budget fuel duty freeze is bad for climate change and air pollution”

Jenny speaks in House debate on Fracking

On Tuesday Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, Chair of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee, asked whether HMG plan to ensure that the three tests set out by the Committee on Climate Change with regard to shale gas exploitation by fracking are met before any fracking work proceeds, and if so, how. Continue reading “Jenny speaks in House debate on Fracking”