The government can’t push ahead with Heathrow, unless they reject the latest advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). In 2016, the Airports Commission used evidence from the CCC to state that Heathrow expansion was OK if we stayed within national limits for carbon emissions, but the CCC now want the UK target changed to zero emissions by 2050 and have stated that aviation expansion will have to be curbed.
The Airports Commission only justified the existing policy of Heathrow expansion by taking an extremely optimistic view about future efficiency improvements and making big assumptions which are not widely accepted. Even with these efficiency improvements, the Airports Commission was already talking (in the small print of reports) about carbon capping and taxing. Even in their optimistic scenarios, passenger numbers would eventually have to fall.
Heathrow only scraped through the recent court case brought by local authorities and Greenpeace because the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions is not part of UK law. However, the Climate Act is law and so are the five yearly carbon budgets which will have to be reduced further to reach zero emissions in 2050. With the government already facing problems reaching its current commitments, then Heathrow expansion becomes a non-starter.
I’ll be telling the government that it makes no sense to spend billions of pounds expanding Heathrow if it has to close a decade later.
The Lords exchange is here
Today around 3pm I’ll be raising the issue of freedom to protest with questions to the Government in the House of Lords about the Court of Appeal’s striking out an injunction obtained by INEOS in a secret court. The successful appeal was brought by two individuals and Friends of the Earth, representing an enormous victory for the right to protest. It will hopefully pave the way for more successful appeals by peaceful protestors who have had their human rights restricted by the frackers and other environmental vandals. Continue reading “Question to Minister on protecting the right to protest”
My amendment on the Trade Bill was debated this week, with support from Labour and Lib Dems. It contains the current protections for the standards we have. But the Government seems reluctant to accept it, even though the Prime Minister herself has said that she doesn’t want to weaken existing standards in future trade agreements. At the moment it would be possible for Ministers to use statutory instruments to change the rules on this, but my amendment would guarantee these minimum standards were kept for rolling over all the trade deals that we currently have as a result of EU membership.
Continue reading “Trade Bill update”
Imagine investing thousands of pounds in a business that produces something everyone wants, but the government tells you that if you produce more than you need then you will have to give it to a big corporation free of charge, so they can sell it to their customers. This is state approved, corporate theft and it’s due to start this April, in the UK. Continue reading “The big solar rip off”
I had a meeting this week with Trade Minister Baroness Fairhead to discuss my amendment to the Trade Bill which aims to make our existing standards the foundation of all new trade agreements. Despite the number of advisors in the meeting on the government side, no one could give any reason why my amendment was bad in law or in principle. From what Ministers say in public, we are all in agreement about not using trade deals to lower standards. The main disagreement is over whether we need this principle enshrined in law. Continue reading “Meeting with Minister on Trade Bill changes”
Reducing the use of plastic and creating a market for products that use recycled plastic, is the way forward. This is how I answered the Minister when it was suggested that we burn plastic, rather than sending it abroad for ‘recycling’. Continue reading “Incinerating plastic is like burning oil”
Following a recent meeting with the National Farmers Union (NFU) I asked the government what they were doing to reduce the 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gases that come from the agriculture sector. There are quite a few initiatives being taken, but none on the scale needed to make a significant impact, according to the Climate Change Commission. The draft Agriculture Bill offers a rare chance to change the system of financial incentives to give a boost to public goods, such as reducing climate change and rewilding the countryside. Continue reading “Farming and climate change”
For 2019 do you want a fast way to reduce animal suffering, lower your greenhouse gas emissions and lessen your risk of disease? Going vegan is the answer. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to give up everything; you can start with a vegan meal, work up to a vegan day, week, month – there are no rules. Continue reading “A little bit of vegan goes a long way”
Creating a 20m buffer zones between all watercourses and farmed land would leave space for a wide range of wildlife and plants to flourish, including beavers. I will be asking the government (3rd December, Oral Question) to introduce such buffer zones as part of a rewilding of the countryside. Such a move would instantly create natural corridors that would allow rarer species to travel and migrate in response to a changing climate. Continue reading “Buffer zones between rivers and farms to bring back beavers”
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Unlike MPs, who receive state funding, members of the House of Lords don’t receive any financial support to employ staff or fund office costs.
As the only Green in the House of Lords, covering as many issues as I can, I need staff to help me with research and press work. I have a small, part time team (equivalent to one full time person) who are paid for from donations from people like you. Continue reading “Crowdfunder to support Jenny’s work”