A message from Caroline Lucas MP

CL Westminster, HDFresh from its success in the European Elections, where we polled over 1.2 million votes, beat the Libdems, and secured a further seat in the European Parliament,  the Green Party is looking ahead with new confidence, bolstered by a rising membership (now 17,000 members, up from 14,000 in January) and renewed enthusiasm!

And our task could scarcely be more urgent.  The Queen’s Speech demonstrated just how dangerous and out of touch this Government is.  Its centrepiece – the Infrastructure Bill – would enshrine the right of fossil fuel companies to frack beneath people’s homes without their consent.  Not only is this an unacceptable violation of homeowners’ rights, it is completely at odds with any kind of leadership on climate change.

The same Bill would see the coalition demolish its own ‘zero carbon’ homes policy, backtracking on its previous pledge to make all new homes carbon-free from 2016.  Instead, developers will be allowed to offset carbon emissions by contributing to ‘carbon abatement schemes’ where homes fail to meet sustainability targets. Smaller developments, of up to 50 homes, could be exempt from zero carbon rules altogether – leaving buyers with fuel-guzzling properties and higher energy bills.

For these reasons – and many more! – I shall be voting against the Government’s new legislative proposals, and putting forward a Green alternative.

Meanwhile, in the House of Lords, Jenny Jones has published a Land Value Taxation Bill, which will help restrict the number of investor owned houses in the UK, making houses more affordable.  We will see if Jenny’s peers can support such a bill…

Our biggest challenge, however, comes in less than a year’s time at the General Election.  Labour have my seat – Brighton Pavilion – in their sights.  It’s number 19 on their national target list, and they’re determined to try to win it back.

In Parliament, I am standing up for a truly public NHS, for urgent action on climate change, challenging austerity, and putting forward positive alternatives like bringing rail back into public ownership.

That’s why it’s vital that we keep a strong Green voice in parliament.

And, just as we did in the European Election, we can overcome big money and negative campaigning with people power.



Caroline Lucas MP

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Green MEP backs women without residency rights

Green MEP Jean Lambert has welcomed the European Parliament’s support for a report from the EU Women’s Committee on undocumented women migrants.

Many women, whose migration status is irregular, can find themselves in very vulnerable situations – unable to access essential healthcare or scared to report violence or exploitation because they fear their migration status will be more important than their rights as an individual.

Ms Lambert said: “Most women arrive here with the right papers but can lose their residency status through a change in personal circumstances, and then find themselves – sometimes their children as well – in a legal limbo.

“Others will have been trafficked here and have no idea of the rights they do have.

“The European Parliament’s view is very clear: we must not forget the dignity of the individual. Victims of domestic abuse or other crime must feel able to contact the police; victims of exploitation at work must be able to take action.”

She added: “We must improve the delicate balance between controlling our borders and upholding the basic human rights of those, often vulnerable women and their children, who reside here.”

GREEN MEP TAKES CHILD RIGHTS PLEDGE

Green Euro-MP Jean Lambert has pledged to be a ‘Child Rights Champion’ in her work in the European Parliament.

Launching a ‘Child Rights Manifesto’ on behalf of a network of European Children’s Charities including UNICEF, Eurochild and Save the Children, she promised to involve children in policy-making, to ensure EU policy took account of the needs of all children, to raise awareness of EU members states’ commitments to respect the human rights of children, and to work with others to anchor children’s rights in the European Parliament structure – perhaps through a single Committee to protect children. Continue reading