Stopping the slums of the future

Jenny is supporting the Healthy Homes campaign to introduce a set of basic principles for the building of new homes that will stop the building of the slums of the future.

Standards for new homes and places are fragmented, complex and do not guarantee that all new homes provide for residents’ basic human needs, such as access to green space and local services, and clean air. Some homes built through Permitted Development even lack access to natural light, and thousands more have been built in office parks and industrial estates.

ASDA fails environment – where are the peat free alternatives?

This government is investing a lot of taxpayer money to restore peatlands in this country, while allowing supermarkets and garden centres to make a big profit out of the destruction of peatlands. People within government clearly want to do the right thing, but not if it gets in the way of corporate greed.

Continue reading “ASDA fails environment – where are the peat free alternatives?”

Working to ‘climate proof’ Parliament’s pension fund

I recently chaired an online seminar of Parliamentarians to discuss whether the pension fund for MPs and Ministers should dump all its remaining holdings in fossil fuels. If you have a pension then it is worth asking the same kind of questions about how your money is being used.

To contain global heating to 1.5°C as outlined by the Paris Agreement, the International Panel on Climate Change have specified that global greenhouse emissions levels must be halved by 2030, followed by continued marked reductions to reach ‘net zero’ global emissions by the middle of the century.

Much of the debate within the pension industry has been about using shareholder power to nudge the fossil fuel producers towards investment in renewables. My job as chair was to nudge the discussion towards dumping all pension fund investments in fossil fuels and to influence the industries that still use fossil fuels to switch urgently to alternatives.

The UN states that for a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6% per year between 2020 and 2030. Indeed, if we are to have any hope of avoiding ecological tipping points then we must reduce production, with half of the world’s largest listed oil and gas companies facing cuts of 50% or more by the 2030’s.

Big reductions in oil and gas are going to hit share prices, so it is far safer to get out of them now and focus investments in those industries that will prosper as part of a new green deal. 

Incinerators are bad for climate change, health and recycling

There is no logical reason why you would want to replace the Edmonton Incinerator in North London, nor build any of the other 50 new waste incinerators that are in the planning pipeline at the moment.

Continue reading “Incinerators are bad for climate change, health and recycling”

We still need a ban on Fracking

I have tabled this amendment with a view to banning fracking once and for all. In doing so, I want to celebrate all the hard work of campaigners and activists across the country who delivered massive opposition against this dirty and dangerous polluting industry, often in the face of poor policy decisions by the Government and the fracking industry’s might-is-right attempts to quash them. In particular, I applaud the Preston New Road campaign in Lancashire. It was a thousand days of protest by the anti-fracking Nanas, a bunch of mainly older women led by Tina Rothery. They fought so hard in the face of well-financed and rather nasty, threatening behaviour by Cuadrilla. Continue reading “We still need a ban on Fracking”

New climate targets, but no restraint on domestic flights

I won the ballot for Topical Oral Question, for the first time, on 20th April with this question: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the passing of a law by the National Assembly of France to prohibit domestic flights to destinations that can be reached by train in two and a half hours or less, what consideration they have given to reducing domestic air travel in the United Kingdom.

Continue reading “New climate targets, but no restraint on domestic flights”

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”

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”