Minister for the Seas

My oral question today is: “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the creation of a Minister for the Oceans?”

We’re a maritime nation. Fish and chips on a Friday night and national icons like Nelson and Sir Walter Raleigh. Our history is connected to the seas and our coastal waters are becoming one vast energy source with wind farms and the prospect of tidal power.

So it seems odd that both France and Portugal both have Ministries for the Oceans, but not us. We have a Space Strategy but not an Ocean Strategy, despite huge under-explored expanse that makes up two thirds of our planet.

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The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero

The Government keep bringing us these thin Bills that ought to include things such as the ecological crisis and climate change, but do not. The subsidy principle should ensure that all our environmental and climate targets are met. Ecologically damaging, polluting industries should be weaned off public money completely and, ultimately, binned. My Amendment 8 would ensure that subsidies contribute towards limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees centigrade of warming. My Amendment 33 would prohibit subsidies for fossil fuels and extend the definition of fossil fuel subsidies to include any government policy that makes fossil fuels cheaper than their true cost. Continue reading “The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero”

Final days of Police Bill Committee Stage

If you make protests impossible to perform legally, criminalise non-violent direct action, abolish or restrict the ability of citizens to challenge the Government in court through judicial reviews, turn people against lawyers, gerrymander the election boundaries and dish out cash in the way that looks best for Conservative MPs, that is deep, dark politics. Many of us here are not particularly political and perhaps do not see the dangers inherent in what the Government are doing. It all seems like a calculated ploy to turn all the cards in favour of an unaccountable Government that cannot be challenged in the courts, at the ballot box or on the streets. 

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The Environment Act 2021

Following the debate in the Lords yesterday the Environment Bill received Royal Assent and passed into law as the The Environment Act 2021.

I am so sad and disappointed that we have got to this place: we are under pressure, because of the primacy of the other place, to pass a Bill that is not as good as the one we amended. It seems that the Government do not understand what they have done in stripping out some of the safeguards we have put in.

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Police Bill – Day 5 of Committee Stage in the Lords

I had to laugh when I saw the amendments on duty of candour, because you sort of assume you can expect a duty of candour for the police; it really should not have to be emphasised in the way that it has been here.

As regards the criminalisation of trespass, it is wonderful to see such a huge coalition of Peers tabling amendments and speaking on this issue. I imagine that Gypsy and Roma Travellers, peaceful protesters, van-lifers, wild campers and anyone else threatened by this proposed legislation will be glad to see the opposition that is coalescing in this House. Far from criminalising trespass, we should be opening up more land for access to the public and enhancing our enjoyment of our magnificent countryside. This is a nasty section of the Bill, it is discriminatory and dangerous, we should remove these clauses completely.

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Lake Windermere, Sewage and Pollution

I have asked the government:

“What discussions has the Environment Agency had with water companies regarding the ending of sewage being dumped into the Lake District, World Heritage Site and how far off are they from achieving high quality water in accordance with the water framework directive?”

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Environment Bill Report Stage final day

Although old train engines and boats do contribute to air pollution, they will be fairly localised and minimal compared with other emissions being pumped out by, for example, the Government building new roads or opening new coal mines—or indeed allowing the growth of incinerators all over the country that operate without proper regulations.

Sign our petition to strengthen the Environment Bill here

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