The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Needs Your Help!

The Climate Emergency and Ecology Bill 

In September 2010, Green MP Caroline Lucas introduced to Parliament a new Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill) to call on the government to take immediate and radical action to address the climate emergency.

The CEE Bill has been developed with members of the successful Big Ask campaign (a Friends of the Earth initiative) that led to the Climate Change Act, Power for People, and with contributions from eminent scientists, academics and lawyers.
The CEE Bill has received backing from a wide range of supporters from different fields including Kumi Naidoo – International Executive Director of Greenpeace International (from 2009 – 2016) and Secretary General of Amnesty International (from 2018 – 2020); Environmentalist Bill McKibben; Green MP Caroline Lucas; forerunner in business sustainability ‘Volans’ and its co-founder John Elkington; as well as actor and playwright Sir David Mark Rylance Waters.
The CEE Bill now has 96 MPs supporting its passage through Parliament. You can see who they are here

You can see an Executive Summary of the CEE Bill here and read the whole CEE Bill here

What can you and your group do to support this important piece of potential legislation?

1. Sign up as an individual or as a group here

2. Check the list of supportive MPs above – if your local MP is not there then mount a campaign of letter writing and lobbying to encourage them to join the list of supporters – more info about this on the website.

3.Talk about the CEE Bill to friends and family to encourage them to sign up to the campaign.

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Six Acres of Woodland Destroyed Over Weekend

As many of you will be aware 6 acres of woodland has been cut down illegally between Horley and Gatwick Airport off Balcombe Road. The destructive act happened on November 28th and is being investigated by the police and Forestry Commission. The site is proposed as a business park in a joint venture between Reigate and Banstead Council and Millhill ltd. but does not have planning permission to begin the development. The council has claimed to be unaware of the plans to illegally deforest the area and has placed tree protection orders on the remaining trees. While nothing can bring back the lost original woodland, East Surrey Green Party is in contact with local residents to investigate this incident and seek means to prevent it happening in other places. Please leave a comment down below if you wish your ideas on how this can be achieved to be included.

Devastation at the site. Source: Surrey Mirror – Grahame Larter

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Horse Hill Judicial Review Debrief

As we wait on the Horse Hill judicial review decision, there is much debate over what outcome will come of it. The judgement is expected within a few weeks. The chance to set a legal precedent has been well documented and cannot be understated.

The Weald Action Group is holding an online debrief on the 1st December with barrister Estelle Dehon sign up here.

You can also read the reflections of the Weald Action Group for a more detailed synopsis of the judicial review itself. Click here.

 

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Councillor Steve Mckenna’s Response to Planning for the Future White Paper

RESPONSE TO PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE WHITE PAPER

Introduction

The planning system is often misunderstood but it has made an enormous positive impact since its creation in 1947. From a Green perspective it has protected countryside and key heritage assets but its not simply a story about preservation. The planning system has helped build communities, deliver homes and jobs and is a key component of local democratic decision making.

Sadly this White Paper makes assumptions that are simply wrong  and accuses the planning system as being the disease not the cure, blaming it for failings such as the lack of delivery of new homes. In reality if the issue is one of delivery then the White Paper should have focussed upon giving Local Planning Authorities incentives and resources to carry out steps that would help delivery such as through commissioning, see below.

Read More »

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Making Space for Nature

The Surrey Hills AONB Board has organised a Surrey Hills Symposium and you are all cordially invited. Taking place for free on the 25th November, experts from across the environmental spectrum will join in an online forum to discuss the question:

‘How can we reverse the drastic decline in nature and achieve a healthy natural environment that will allow our plants and animals to thrive?’

The talk marks the 10th year since Professor John Lawton published his Making Space for Nature report on creating a healthy natural environment that will allow our plants and animals to thrive. This forum will provide an opportunity to see what strides we have made into achieving Lawton’s goal.

 

Click the link to book your place and for more information: Surrey Hills Symposium

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The government’s planning proposals: wrong answers based on wrong assumptions

Councillor Steve Mckenna is compiling a response from the local Green Party to the Government’s ‘Planning for the future’ policy proposals – please send your thoughts before Thursday, 29 October and he will try to include all useful contributions in our response.

 

The planning system is often misunderstood but it has made an enormous positive impact since its creation in 1947. From a Green perspective it has protected countryside and key heritage – but it’s not a story about preservation. The planning system has helped build  communities, deliver homes and jobs, and is a key component of local democratic decision making.

The Government’s proposals aren’t just minor changes to the current system – they are a wholesale replacement.

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Friends of the Earth and Robert Jenrick to take part in Horse Hill judicial review

Friends of the Earth and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, have been granted permission to participate in a local campaigners’ legal challenge over oil production at Horse Hill, near Gatwick in Surrey.

Local Green Party member Sarah Finch argues that the Council failed to consider the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the project, and the government’s Net Zero target for carbon emissions. Friends of the Earth applied to make a legal intervention to support Sarah’s challenge; the Secretary of State applied to be joined in order to oppose it.

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Art For The Earth

In order to fight the legal battle against the continuation of oil extraction at Horse Hill Sarah Finch has launched Art for the Earth. The initiative will help to raise the remaining £4,500 needed in legal fees. Here is a message from Sarah Finch on the #ArtForTheEarth scheme: Click here 

 

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Nuclear Weapons and Our Future

The threat of nuclear weapons is a dull, anxious constant for many people. Those who grew up during the cold war will recognise the fear of seeing a plane’s vapour trails in the sky. Whilst nuclear weapons may not make the headlines so much anymore, that does not make them any less prevalent in today’s society. Last year the UK government spent well over £7bn on nuclear weapons (commonslibary.gov.uk), and the US spent close to $100bn. In an era where these staggering figures could solve so many of the World’s greatest challenges there has been a resurgence in calls for nuclear disarmament. If you want to have your voice heard in this discussion then we have the forum for you to do it.

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One enormous council?

The leader of Surrey County Council, Tim Oliver, has written to the government saying the existing two-tier system should be replaced with one single council. With 1.2 million residents this would make it the largest unitary council in England. The Federation of Surrey Green Parties has issued a statement in response to the proposal, asking for public consultation and safeguards for effective local democracy and local decision making, alongside the desire for efficient administration.

You can read the statement here: Read More »

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