Solar Alliance to light lives of a billion people

I find the ambitions of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) enormously exciting, which is why I organised a Lord’s debate on the UK Government signing up to them.  It is an international agreement, formed at the United Nations by treaty between 121 states. Importantly, the alliance is being led by India, which makes it the first large-scale climate initiative to be led by a ‘developing’ country. Together the signatories seek to raise $1 trillion US dollars for investment in solar power, and by 2030 the treaty aims to provide affordable green energy to a billion people who do not currently have any electricity. These are lofty goals and they demonstrate an understanding that green investment gives the opportunity to significantly increase the living standards of the world’s poorest while protecting the ecological resources on which all our livelihoods depend. So far, all good. Continue reading “Solar Alliance to light lives of a billion people”

Dear Conservatives who care

A few of you have told me that Blue is the new Green. That you have compassion towards animals and want to conserve the beauty of this world.

Last week one of you told me that the budget wasn’t the place to mention climate change, and I was too infuriated to argue, but I’d like to disagree. Every Government statement must mention it because it affects every area of our lives. Energy, housing, agriculture, transport, food, defence, the economy (no business on a dead planet) etc. Continue reading “Dear Conservatives who care”

Rebellion for Life Oct 31

The Extinction Rebellion begins today. A series of Non Violent Direct Action protests organised by academics and many others.

Climate breakdown is officially happening. We have the evidence of arctic glaciers going into meltdown, humanity is destroying bio-diversity, with the 60% decline of animal populations since 1970. Continue reading “Rebellion for Life Oct 31”

Water is too precious to stay in private hands

Putting water back into public hands would not end the need for hosepipe bans, but it would make them a lot less frequent. For starters, there is over £13.5bn paid to shareholders in the past 8 years that could be spent fixing leaking pipes that leaked away 20% of the treated clean water. That’s £13.5 billion, not million. That means pipes fixed, new sewers constructed and prices held down. Continue reading “Water is too precious to stay in private hands”

Fracking, Heathrow and nukes have no place in a modern economy

There are so many urgent actions and recommendation from today’s CCC report on what the government needs to do in order to stay within the UKs legally binding limits for climate change emissions. We know exactly what to do, but are government is still failing to create a modern economy. Continue reading “Fracking, Heathrow and nukes have no place in a modern economy”

Briefing on Heathrow and climate change

Some MPs will argue that it’s okay to expand Heathrow while staying within the national limit for climate change emissions. The Airports Commission did come to this conclusion, but I doubt that these MPs read the report’s smallprint about the squeeze on regional airports and a huge price hike (read more about the nonewrunways campaign). Continue reading “Briefing on Heathrow and climate change”

Clean Air Bill: momentum that can’t be stopped

There is a momentum behind the idea of a new Clean Air Bill that can’t be stopped. My own finalised Bill is being submitted in the Lords, while Geraint Davies MP is putting his forward for its first reading in the Commons. Between them, these two Parliamentary bills cover all the ground. Geraint’s is focused upon the practical measures and changes needed to ensure that we improve human health and includes all those basic steps that the Labour, Conservative and Coalition Government have failed to take in the last eighteen years. My bill enshrines clean air as a human right and would restore crucial environmental principles into UK law, such as polluter pays and the precautionary principle. It also creates an enforcement mechanism with the Citizens Commission which can support individuals and communities who want to take legal action to make their right to clean air a reality. Continue reading “Clean Air Bill: momentum that can’t be stopped”

Protectors of the planet

There are lots of good reasons why I travelled north to support the community protests against the frackers at Preston New Road in Lancashire, but climate change is the biggest priority for me. The government has changed the planning rules so it can put a fracking well on your doorstep, in the same way that it can now force Heathrow expansion on the millions of people in west London who will suffer increased noise and pollution. Both fracking and Heathrow expansion are hugely damaging to our climate and the future of our existence on this planet. Continue reading “Protectors of the planet”

Crucial vote in Lords on new environmental enforcement agency

Tomorrow is a crucial day in the ​House of ​Lords for environmentalists. I ​shall be backing an amendment to the EU Withdr​awal Bill to ensure that the government’s ​promised new enforcement agency will not reduce any of “the rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and proceedures that contribute to the protection and improvement of the environment.”  Continue reading “Crucial vote in Lords on new environmental enforcement agency”

Frackers on your doorstep are bad for your health

I have asked the government for new ‘set back’ regulations to stop fracking sites being placed outside the front gate of people’s homes (see photo of homes near fracking drill site, Westby, Fylde, Lancashire). A North Yorkshire Planning Inspector has suggested a minimum 500m limit and I imagine they were as shocked as I was to discover that the government hadn’t bothered with such an obvious public health measure. Continue reading “Frackers on your doorstep are bad for your health”