Greenpeace joins calls to ban incineration

Jenny’s long standing campaign to stop incineration and raise the alarm over CO2 emissions and local air pollution has been joined by Greenpeace. They have teamed up with Exinction rebellion and UK Without Incinerators to deleiver a 10 point action plan to the PM for a swift shift to a circular economy.

Noting social justice concerns, the action plan stresses that better measures to curb pollution from incinerators are urgently required. It points out that incinerators are “imposed on communities against their will, harming their air quality without their consent” and that these plants “are more likely to be built in poorer areas and in areas with higher racial and ethnic diversity”. Greenpeace data has shown that UK waste incinerators are three times as likely to be located in deprived areas.

Jenny met them at the Big One weekend of protests in London, saying that “Everyone deserves clean air”

A key green party demand is to stop more incinerators being built and for councils to withdraw from the long term contracts that have such a negative impact on recycling rates.

Government defeats on the Energy Bill

The government suffered four defeats on amendments to the Energy Bill in the Lords last night, including one championed by my Green Party collegue Natalie Bennett on community energy. These will now go back to MPs for them to consider and hopefully we will get a few shifts in the government’s position.

The first amendment adds a new clause imposing a duty on the Secretary of State to bring forward a plan within six months of the passage of the act for low carbon heat, energy efficient buildings and higher standards on new homes.

The second adds a new clause requiring the Secretary of State to bring forward regulations to prohibit the opening of new coal mines in England.

The third adds a requirement to have regard for the UK’s net zero emissions target into Ofgem’s general duties.

The fourth amendment requires the Secretary of state to bring forward regulations to require large energy suppliers to purchase electricity from low carbon community sites and provide annual reporting on the use of such schemes

Not even baby steps

In this budget the Chancellor has taken absolutely no steps on the path to a green economy. Green growth is an oxymoron. The minute you grow anything, you have to degrow in a different area. Green growth is possible but not if you do not cut somewhere else. Every time we grow the economy, we take a bite out of the planet’s resources. In the words of Professor Jason Hickel, author of ‘Less is More’ –

“Decarbonization with growth is like trying to run down an escalator that is accelerating upwards” Continue reading “Not even baby steps”

Environmental Targets: Marine

As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UK failed to reach its target of restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020. It was adopted by the UK as part of target 2 of the EU’s biodiversity strategy, and the lack of progress is most pronounced in the marine and costal environment, where habitat degradation continues and restoration remains in its relative infancy. I believe that nobody in the Government understands the ocean, it is crucial to our well-being, and these new Government targets related to the Environment Act 2021 are utterly insufficient. Continue reading “Environmental Targets: Marine”

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Second Reading

This Bill does not mention climate change which is the biggest existential threat to all of humankind; it is not just about the north or the south but the whole world and the Government have been deficient in mentioning it and putting it into a context that can make a difference. Continue reading “Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Second Reading”

A green approach to the Energy Bill

Something Greens are always very concerned about is marketisation and financial engineering around environmental issues. The UK has a long and dangerous track record of mismanaging this. In the same way that financial engineering around mortgages caused the 2008 financial crisis, there are risks that bankers will abuse the climate crisis as an opportunity to get filthy rich while destroying the very systems we are working to protect. It has been done before.

Continue reading “A green approach to the Energy Bill”