LONDON’S ‘HOTHOUSES’ NEED ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES,

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London’s buildings are often expensive to heat or cool and poorly insulated according to Green Party MEP, Jean Lambert.

In a message for Earth Day, which was marked by events across the globe yesterday, she said energy efficiency and conservation measures were key to cutting London’s greenhouse gas emissions – and lowering energy bills.

Earth Day, marked by the UN each year on April 22, this year took as its focus ‘green cities’.

The UN estimates more than half of the world’s population lives in cities – and has called for a ‘transition’ towards renewable energy generation and investment in energy efficiency in urban areas.

Ms Lambert said: “Almost a decade ago I wrote a report looking in detail at how energy-inefficient London’s homes were – and the contribution that made to high energy bills and climate change.

“Without a concerted focus on sustainability in housing by the Mayor of London, little has changed.

“London still has some of the most inefficient housing in the UK – and we’ll have to invest in insulation and energy conservation if we are going to become the sustainable, healthy city Londoners need.

“Instead, we have a Mayor and a Government who are more concerned with weakening the laws protecting Londoners from the exhaust fumes and polluted air that’s killing 4,000 Londoners early every year and allowing fracking in South and South-East London.

“But London, like all the world’s great cities, will have to evolve as energy becomes more expensive and climate change worsens.

“As well as lowering our household energy bills, public investment in energy conservation could create thousands of much-needed jobs in London’s construction sector.”

Read Jean Lambert’s report ‘Hothouses: Climate Change and London’s Housing’, examining the state of energy efficiency in London’s housing stock. It’s available for download here:

 

 

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REMEMBER BANGLADESH FACTORY DISASTER – ONE YEAR ON

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Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has urged support for one of the several events in the UK commemorating the Rana Plaza factory disaster, which took place exactly a year ago.

Some 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured – mostly workers in the Ready-Made Garment industry supplying clothes to UK High Streets – when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Jean Lambert visited Bangladesh last month as chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to South Asia to discuss a wide range of political topics, including workers’ rights and factory safety.

Tomorrow she will mark the anniversary by visiting a garment factory in Finsbury Park, North London, to compare conditions faced by workers in the UK and Bangladesh.

The she will take part in a ‘Flash Mob’ on Oxford Street organised by ‘Fashion Revolution’ – a global campaign run by insiders calling for the fashion industry to clean up its supply chains.

Fashion revolution are urging people to wear clothes inside out for the day – so as to display the manufacturers’ label – to raise awareness of the Rana Plaza disaster.

Speaking at a recent conference on workers’ rights in the ready-made garment industry organised with aid charity Care International last week, the London Green MEP welcomed the ‘good’ progress being made on the appointment of factory inspectors, inspection of buildings and changes to Bangladesh’s employment law.

Jean Lambert said she was pleased that over 100 unions have been formed in the garment sector in the last year.

But she said there were still problems making sure all victims of the factory collapse and the earlier Tasreen factory fire received compensation – as not all companies selling the clothes made at Rana Plaza have paid into a compensation fund agreed last year.

“There remain problems – not just in relation to full compensation, but also in terms of what happens to workers and their jobs if a factory is found to be unsafe and forced to close,” she said.

“But the willingness is there from many stakeholders to make progress and better the living conditions and wages of the workers.

“The European Parliament will be watching to ensure that progress is maintained and that workers – many of whom are women – will be able to make a decent living in safe conditions.”

 

 

ATTACKING FOREIGNERS DOESN’T DEFEND WORKERS’ RIGHTS

 

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Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has pointed to the chasm between UKIP claiming to defend British workers jobs, while doing nothing to defend their rights at work.

Speaking on the BBC today, she said: “Today an anti-EU poster campaign has been launched, suggesting that UK jobs are under threat from EU migrants, these posters represent crocodile tears for British workers.”

“There is no fixed number of jobs so it is misleading to assume that a British worker loses out every time a non-UK national gets a job. We should also not assume that every vacant job has a local applicant with the necessary skills.

“We should be ensuring everyone in work has the same rights and earns a living wage. UKIP has not once defended workers’ rights in the European Parliament and frequently speaks of such rights – to control working time, to parental leave, to equal treatment – as “barriers to business”.

She added: “This xenophobic campaign is just nasty: it is anti-foreigner and leaves many EU migrants – that’s more than a million people in London alone, and British citizens from diverse backgrounds, wondering whether they should be here at all.

“The Green Party believes the UK should be at the heart of the EU, with a prime seat at the decision-making table: not only to boost employment and workers’ rights, but to ensure we influence EU standards on air quality, its responses to climate change and that the UK has a voice on key decisions about how and where we get our energy from in future.”