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”

Life at 2 degrees of warming

COP27 failed to make progress on reducing emissions and the awful reality is that our current economic and political system can’t deliver the necessary change, quickly enough. So have you started wondering how everyday life is going to change in the next ten years due to the climate emergency? It is a timescale that many of us can grasp. My grandchildren will be in their late twenties and I will be retired and struggling to keep the allotment in shape. What will your life be like and what will be the new normal?

Continue reading “Life at 2 degrees of warming”

Natural state

The water framework directive was a very precise, scientifically based measurement of ecological well-being that the Government quietly dropped in 2017. They have replaced that with this talk of “natural state” for 75% of rivers. What does “natural state” mean in scientific terms? I would argue that it is incredibly woolly and totally meaningless and that this Government do not have a suitable plan. Continue reading “Natural state”

Delays in water companies producing plans for dealing with sewage discharges

The water companies have already had all the money they needed for infrastructure improvements but did not use it for this; they gave it in dividends to their shareholders. I like to help the Government if they are floundering around, confused and out of ideas, so I suggest to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that it instructs Ofwat to ensure that no dividends are paid to shareholders or large bonuses to senior executives until further notice, until this problem is fixed and water companies stop pumping sewage into our chalk streams and rivers and on to our beaches. Continue reading “Delays in water companies producing plans for dealing with sewage discharges”

Zero Hour

To ask HMG, further to the publication of the all-party, UK-wide Nature and Climate Declaration on 1 November 2022, what steps are they taking to (1) reduce the full scope of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with limiting global heating to 1.5°C, (2) halt and reverse biodiversity decline by 2030, and (3) deliver a more ambitious and integrated environmental protection and decarbonisation plan. Continue reading “Zero Hour”

Public Order Bill arrives in Lords

The Government really do not need the sort of repressive powers in the Bill that are worthy of Russia, China or Iran. We should vote against this legislation—again—to protect the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of assembly and the right to protest, which is what we expect in a free society. Of course protest is inherently disruptive; that is its nature. But do the Lords know what is more disruptive? The fossil fuel companies and extractive industries that are destroying our planet, and the billionaires who are amassing huge claims over the world’s resources while everyone else worries about how to pay our energy bills this winter. BP has made £7 billion profit in three months, yet we will pay the extra cost of coastal defences and higher food prices for the next three decades or more. Shell makes £9.5 billion profit in a quarter. They have billions in the bank; we will have a country that swings from drought and wildfires to floods of sewage. Every dollar or pound that the oil and gas companies make equals the world becoming a worse place for generations. That is what real disruption means, and we have a Government encouraging it with tax breaks and licences for big business. Continue reading “Public Order Bill arrives in Lords”