Time to declare a Biodiversity Emergency

We have passed legislation in the past year at the most incredible rate; a year ago, we would have said that it was impossible, unconstitutional or just plain ridiculous, so Parliament and the Government have shown that they can act fast in an emergency. Targets are great, and I welcome better and higher targets, but they are not met without a plan. It is not enough to talk. We must act. The Dasgupta Review and the Climate Change Committee’s sixth carbon budget have given us a pathway to doing exactly that—to declaring a biodiversity and climate emergency, acting on it and reducing our impact on the natural world.

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Tackling animal cruelty

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill has finally reached Second Reading. The Government first proposed this legislation in 2017, along with protections for animal sentience, but then dropped the animal sentience bit. It was June 2019 before the Government brought in this Bill, but with all their shenanigans of shutting down Parliament and then using the Queen’s Speech as a party-political broadcast before holding a general election, the Bill fell twice in as many months. Now, with only a few weeks left of the fourth Parliament since the Government first promised this legislation, we are either going to have to rush the Bill through, pass a carry-over Motion or lose the Bill yet again.

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Prince Philip was one of the pioneers who started to highlight the links between people and planet

A big debt is owed to Prince Philip and that whole generation of environmentalists of which he was a part and which he promoted through his work. But I cannot speak about one death, however momentous, without speaking of the 127,087 other deaths over the past year due to coronavirus. Many of those deaths will have been premature, with people of all ages dying before their time and leaving many more people – hundreds of thousands of them – grieving. Continue reading “Prince Philip was one of the pioneers who started to highlight the links between people and planet”

Women ChangeMakers: Women Campaigning on Air Pollution 1pm 8th March

Please join me for a conversation on International Women’s Day

I will be talking with Rosamund Addo-Kissi-Debrah, Co-founder of the Ella Roberta Foundation, Dr Maria Neira, W.H.O Director of Environment, Climate Change and Heath, clean air advocate Penny Hosie and host Andrea Carey Fuller

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Trade Bill ‘Ping Pong’ – Lords oppose Government over Genocide amendment

This is about ethics, morality, having a clear conscience and making sure that we behave as a democracy should, by abhorring genocide and people being murdered, tortured and imprisoned. This is about operating as an enlightened nation and when we talk about genocide, we ought to talk as well about ecocide—large-scale environmental destruction and ecological damage. Although it is not as obvious, it is a slow genocide. It drives people away from their land, makes them poor and gives them fewer opportunities and terrible lives. We should accept that we do that sort of damage, and that we do it in virtually every act of our lives. In some way, we impact on our environment and the rest of the world and, by doing that, we can damage the health and well-being of other nations and people who live in the places where we get our food or the minerals for our phones. So we ought to think very carefully about how we operate as individuals and as a nation.

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The Trade Bill Report Stage – My Amendment

20: After Clause 2, insert the following new Clause –

“Ratification of international trade agreements

(1) An international trade agreement may not be ratified unless it enables the United Kingdom to require imports to meet standards that are equivalent to the principal standards laid down by primary and subordinate legislation in the United Kingdom regarding food safety, the environment and animal welfare.

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HS2 Bill – Third Reading

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and celebrate all the campaigners who have been trying to stop HS2. Many of them have put their personal safety, their personal finances and a lot of other things on hold because they were so dedicated to trying to stop HS2. They had physical, personal and financial problems because of all the things they were doing. There are people like Sarah Green in Colne Valley, who has just been a beacon of hope actually trying to mitigate the worst of HS2’s damage to that beautiful area. Then, of course, there are other organisations and individuals, from the Woodland Trust, the Wildlife Trust and parish councils to communities all along the route and concerned residents, who all gave their time and efforts to do what they know is right for their area.

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HS2 Bill Amendment 10

Amendment 10 is a pretty good amendment and something to work towards, even if it is not accepted today. It would require a report every six months rather than annually; “indirect impacts” are explicitly mentioned; and it would require a report to Parliament by the Secretary of State, with a four-week consultation period, rather than no consultation at all.

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