NEW EU RULES A ‘LOST OPPORTUNITY’ TO STOP FRACKING

20140214_161305fd429d2db862

Jean Lambert, Green MEP said the decision to exclude fracking from EU level regulation was ‘a lost opportunity’.

 

The updated legislation on environmental impact assessments (EIAs) fails to make them compulsory for shale gas extraction projects and exploration involving fracking.

 

Greens voted against the revised rules which could see more fracking projects being bulldozed through without a basic standard of assessment of their impact and public participation in the process, as required by EIAs.

 

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London said:

 

“These new rules are a missed opportunity. They do not go far enough to protect the public from the risks of fracking, and will not halt the speedy dash for shale gas by many governments across Europe.

 

“Greens believe there is enough evidence to ban fracking in Europe, as they have done in France or Bulgaria, but making an environmental impact assessment compulsory should be the absolute minimum standard expected.

 

 “The objections to fracking cannot be simply ignored. There’s the risk of toxic chemicals contaminating our water supplies, the air pollution, the effect on our environment of thousands of wells, the huge quantities of water consumed, and the climate change impact of our continued reliance on dirty gas.

 

“It beggars belief that there is a threat of fracking sites popping up across London, with the government already granting licenses for exploration in Croydon and Lambeth. Mayor Boris Johnson said he would leave ‘no stone unturned, or unfracked’ if reserves of shale gas are found in our most densely populated city. The Mayor should instead be throwing his weight behind energy efficient housing and renewables which would benefit communities, not big businesses.

 

“We need to halt fracking and properly assess the risks instead of offering bribes to councils to press ahead.

 

“Fracking is not a quick-fix solution to meet our energy needs. The best solution is for shale gas to stay in the ground, and for forward thinking governments to invest in clean green energy.”

 

More on the new legislation here:

 

Boris Johnson’s comment here:

 

Advertisements

Greens win suspension of trade deal with US over spying scandal

20140214_161305fd429d2db862

EURO-MPs have backed Green demands for the immediate suspension of talks leading to a proposed new trade deal between the EU and the US after an investigation found ‘overwhelming evidence’ of a programme of mass surveillance of EU citizens by US security forces.

Members of the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Programme (TTIP) should not be pursued – at least until the US agrees to change its law and halt all ‘data mining’ from ‘phone and Internet use in the EU.

The investigation, set up by the committee after whistleblower Edward Snowden lifted the lid on the US PRISM project to monitor and record EU citizens’ telephone and Internet usage, condemned PRISM, which it said ‘may entail a breach of EU ctizens’ fundamental rights’.

It calls for an end to all mass surveillance, observing that privacy is not a luxury, but a fundamental right in a free and democratic society.

But Greens called for EU action to go further, establishing a ‘Digital Declaration of Independence’, ensuring that no data is collected – without express permission – on any EU citizens’ Internet or ‘phone use, that the EU ends all co-operation with the US unless and until it changes its law to prohibit all mass surveillance, and that EU states offer asylum to Edward Snowden and all US ‘whistleblowers’ shedding light on US spying activities in the EU.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP and a member of the Civil Liberties Committee which conducted the investigation, said: “The US has behaved abominably here – and the EU must defend the rights of its citizens’ from this unwarranted attack on their basic human rights.

“More and more of us are using the Internet, and smartphones, to access basic goods and services, and we really must be able to do so without our privacy being breached.

“We must offer protection to everyone who sheds light on these activities, and end negotiations on TTIP, at least until the US has gauranteed such a blanket approach to hoovering up data will never be used again.”

The European Parliament as a whole will vote on the Green proposals when it considers the investigation report next month.


Greens support Unconditional Basic Income

logo.do

Green MEP Jean Lambert is throwing her support behind the Proposed European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) which would Explore a pathway towards progressive welfare in the EU

It potentially fits with the initiative, which the Greens championed in the EP during the 2010 European Year against Poverty, for a Framework Directive on Minimum Income, proposed by the European Anti-Poverty Network: this allowed for different ways to meet a desired outcome, rather than a uniform system. The ECI offers an opportunity to build on that work in the next EP, with a strong public voice behind it – if it gets enough signatures.

Asking the Commission, to encourage cooperation between the Member States aiming to explore the Unconditional Basic Income as a tool to improve their respective social security systems. Continue reading