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”

Emergency Motion: government’s attack on nature

Please sign (if you’re a Green Party member) my emergency motion to this weekends national conference. Thius motion supports the RSPB campaign against the government’s attack on nature. Let’s stop the Investment Zones and Freeports from wrecking what biodiversity we have left. Follow this link and click ‘like’

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The CPRE’s Environmental Land Management recommendations

This morning I spoke at the parliamentary launch of CPRE‘s Countryside Next Door report, I said:

The Green Party welcomes moves to improve the stewardship of green belt land and protect access to the countryside for all. These green spaces are vital for the health and wellbeing of those who live in urban areas. Recreation and access to land, which we know are so crucial to human health and well-being, need to be considered alongside what crops we grow on that land. We need to re-localise our food supply, restore the ring of market gardens and orchards that not that long ago surrounded our cities and towns. Instead of vast tracts of monoculture the Green Party wants to see the growing of fruit and vegetables, ideally in a mixed system and managed in ways that are excellent for biodiversity and nature. Continue reading “The CPRE’s Environmental Land Management recommendations”

Action to ban fur and foie gras imports

I recently joined organisations campaigning to save the promised Animals Abroad Bill – which would ban imports of hunting “trophies”, fur, and foie gras as well as the promotion of elephant tourist rides overseas. I joined representatives from the “Don’t Betray Animals” Coalition who launched two enormous balloons, shaped like an elephant and a lion, above Parliament to send a clear message to Boris Johnson that animals need action, not hot air.  

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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.

Continue reading “Minister for the Seas”