Government must walk the talk on climate change and reduce, not expand, flights

TGatwick-X-sky-smallhe government announced last night that it will expand runway capacity in south east England, while putting off the difficult decision of whether the new runway will be at Heathrow or Gatwick.

To make this announce-ment while ‘talking the talk’ with world leaders, gathered in Paris to finalise a global agreement on climate change is simply irresponsible.

While our government gives the impression of backing an ambitious climate deal in Paris – where over 100 countries have been pushing for strengthening the limits we place on global warming – it continues to ignore the part it plays in the problem. As well as undermining renewable energy at home, it is pushing forward with investments in new roads, forcing through fracking, and now planning another runway – all of which will increase carbon emissions.

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Local, national and international voices raised: calling for #ClimateSense at COP21

World calls for #ClimateSense

We have been let down. By successive governments, at successive international negotiations. But as Amelia Womack reminded us at our joint meeting with Mole Valley Greens last week in Dorking; the COP21 talks taking place this week are important, but just as important are the voices being raised outside.

Peter Sims of People & Planet showed us how much we could burn to be in with a 'reasonable chance' of avoiding dangerous climate change

Peter Sims of People & Planet showed us how much we could burn to be in with a ‘reasonable chance’ of avoiding dangerous climate change

Across the UK, and the world, peoples’ campaigns are growing. Peter Sims, local Green, and co-ordinator of People & Planet Society at the University of Surrey, gave a presentation at our Climate Sense meeting on their fantastic campaign to get their University to divest from fossil fuels.  Similar is happening at Universities across the UK.

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Talking #ClimateSense

 

Green Party members in Reigate and Banstead are campaigning for a strong agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. And we’re also campaigning on issues in our area which impact on the global climate.

Please join us!

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Changes in store for Community Recycling Centres

IMG-20150916-02017Surrey County Council is currently consulting on the future of Community Recycling Centres across the County, with proposals including reduced opening hours, and complete closure of some centres (though this has not been proposed for the Earlswood depot).

Councillor Jonathan Essex comments on the proposals: ‘We should be encouraging waste reduction and proper waste disposal. Reduced opening hours could make recycling more difficult for some, when we should be making it as easy as possible to re-use, re-purpose, and recycle everything we use.’

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Joining forces to oppose airport expansion

LondonMeetingPhotoRedhill Green Councillor Jonathan Essex shared the stage with representatives from local campaign groups and Green Party activists at a public meeting in London on Saturday (12 September). The meeting brought together experts and campaign groups who oppose airport expansion in the South East.

Jonathan, said: “Instead of the false choice between expanding Heathrow or Gatwick, we must show leadership on climate change and build no new runways. We can’t make a fair contribution to keeping global warming within safe limits if we increase flying.

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No new runways – time to get active

Green Party Deputy Leader Shahrar Ali

Green Party Deputy Leader Shahrar Ali

This autumn, the Government will decide whether to build a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow.

The Commission it appointed to advise on this difficult question concluded that the new runway should go at Heathrow – but also said that Gatwick presents a “plausible case for expansion”.

Expansion at either airport would be a disaster – in terms of climate change, noise, air pollution and community blight.

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Local Green Priorities, New Officers, New Plans: What happened at our AGM

* Members decide local campaign priorities
* New officers elected
* Get involved!
It was great to see such a good turnout, including some of our newest members, at our AGM on the 20th of July.  The winning combination of food and political discussion made for a fantastic atmosphere, as officers delivered positive annual reports.

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Budget 2015 – All smoke and mirrors. And more smoke

The Conservatives are now the party of working people. No, honestly. George Osborne used yesterday’s budget to introduce a living wage, a supertax on the banks and an end to lucrative mortgage relief for buy-to-let landlords. Plus, he’s abolishing non-dom status. So they must be.

“From welfare to work” said the Telegraph; “The Well Fair State” said the Sun; “Pay rises all round” said the Express (while still squeezing a picture of Kate Middleton onto the front page!). It seems we’ve never had it so good.

But in the tradition of all the best stage illusionists, using a little sleight of hand, and a lot of misdirection, Mr Osborne has distracted attention from the less palatable truth.

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The next election starts here

It’s my party……

…….and I’ll cry if I want to. Actually, there is little or nothing for Green Party members to cry about at the moment, writes Trevor Jones.

2015 Austerity March Green PlacardsThe Green Party is in very good shape. The ‘Green Surge’ has seen membership increase dramatically. The membership of London Green Party now stands at over 12,000, which is more than the national membership in 2012.

Here in Reigate and Banstead, we have seen a similar growth in members.

In the year since the last AGM, membership has more than tripled, increasing from 41 to 128. Membership across Surrey has increased by a similar proportion.

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Airports Commission backs a new runway at Heathrow

The Airports Commission’s long-awaited report was published today and it has backed…

a third runway at Heathrow.

Gatwick is not off the agenda, however, as the Report says that Gatwick presents a “plausible case for expansion”.

And the Government has already said that it won’t be bound by the Commission’s recommendations.

Read more:

See Cllr Jonathan Essex’s statement on today’s announcement.

Read this post which sets out why we oppose expansion at either airport.

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