Greens Report on Secret TTIP Treaty

 

ktOne of the UK’s Members of the European Parliament has released a report slamming a major trade deal being negotiated between the USA and the European Commission.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for South East England, is demanding that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) be scrapped. Mr Taylor, whose party is the only major group in the European Parliament to oppose the trade deal, has labelled the negotiations as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘a threat to the rights and protections we hold dear.’

Mr Taylor also accused other UK political parties of ‘cheerleading’ for the TTIP deal.  He revealed a leaked Lib Dem document in which the party advises candidates to attack Greens for being anti-jobs because of their stance against TTIP.

Mr Taylor’s report is released today as the fourth round of negotiations between the EU and the USA begin in Brussels.

The report claims that TTIP brings multiple threats to the sovereignty of the UK including:

 – The prospect of multinational companies suing the UK Government if laws are passed which threaten profitability.

– The watering down of environmental, health & safety and workplace regulations to achieve ‘harmonization’ with lower US standards.

  Mr Taylor said:

“Though huge chunks of this trade deal are shrouded in secrecy what we do know is that TTIP poses a very real threat to the quality of life of people in the UK.

It’s astounding that the Lib Dems, a party with the word ‘democrat’ in their name, are attacking those who want to protect Brits from a trade deal written by big business.

This deal, favoured by multinationals, threatens to slash regulations that protect our environment and health. But, most worryingly, it represents a serious threat to democracy in our country.  

Though our Government wants people to be kept in the dark about this dreadful deregulation charter I have no doubt that the movement against it is bound to  go from strength to strength.”

You can download a full copy of Keith Taylor’s Report here


Green party: 10 Point Flood Prevention Plan

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The UK’s response to the flooding crisis must centre on a long-term strategy to address climate change the Green Party says today, as it recommends a series of ten measures to improve the country’s flood resilience in future.

It says sustained political action on climate change is crucial to reducing the risk of severe flooding happening again.

The Party is calling for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to be sacked and for the Prime Minister to remove Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change. The Met Office has said (2) that the evidence points to climate change contributing to these extraordinary floods.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party’s Euro MP for South East England, said:

“These floods, which are now affecting thousands across my constituency, bring into focus the devastating risk of inaction on climate change.

We need to do all we can right now to help those affected by flooding, including applying to the EU for extra financial help. In the longer term we must reverse staff cuts at the environment agency and strengthen planning rules to prevent further development on flood plains.”

The Green Party’s ten point plan on flooding includes:

1. Reverse staff cuts at the Environment Agency, review its budget, and drop plans to impose a duty on the EA to consider economic growth which could get in the way of providing independent expert advice

2. Strengthen planning rules for urban and rural areas to prevent further development on flood plains and ensure developers prioritise flood resilience and prevention – including through incorporation of SUDS in new developments as well as a programme of retrofitting SUDS to existing communities. Ensure better transparency of decisions so public can hold decision makers accountable.

3. Get rid of any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK seriously

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:

“Politicians who ride roughshod over the painstaking findings of climate scientists (3), sometimes motivated by their inappropriately close links to fossil fuel big business, endanger our future and our children’s future”

“It’s a crying shame more of the recommendations made by the The Pitt Review into the 2007 floods haven’t been taken seriously by Labour, the Tories, and their Coalition government lackeys in the Lib Dem Party. But it is not too late for action.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:

“Across the country, homes and businesses are being devastated by the floods, and our hearts go out to everyone whose life is being turned upside down. Nature is giving us another wake-up call.

“In addition to making sure everything possible is done to help people affected by the immediate crisis, we need a credible long term strategy to tackle the risk of flooding and extreme weather to people’s homes and liveilihoods in the futrue.”

The call to government urges ministers to adopt the recommendations of a major independent cross sector coalition for a Cabinet-level committee on infrastructure and climate change resilience and a Royal Commission on the long-term impacts of climate change on land.

The Green Party is also calling for all staff cuts at the Environment Agency to be cancelled, planning rules to be strengthened to prevent further development on flood plains, and for increased levels of spending on flood defences to a level in line with expert recommendations from the Environment Agency and the Climate Change Committee.

And it is supporting the call of campaigners for the billions of UK fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks to be used to help the victims of flooding

“This redirection will address the underspend and assist the victims of flooding, as well as putting a halt to public money exacerbating the problem of climate change that is making the floods so much worse”, noted Bennett.

Download The Green Party’s Ten Point Plan here

Why we need to talk about Climate Change

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Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP, whose constituency has been hit hard by flooding, is demanding that the threat of increased extreme weather is taken seriously,  that the UK Government and mainstream media ‘wake up’ to the links between flooding and climate change.

“Though individual weather events can’t be explicitly linked to climate change the evidence suggests that we can expect more of this kind of extreme weather in the future. It is, therefore, amazing that there have been so few mentions of climate change in the media as thousands of people are hit hard by this unusually wet weather.

The Government and the media need to wake up to the links between weather like we’re seeing and the global climate change that our fossil fuelled economy is causing. Though better planning and flood defenses will help us mitigate the risks of climate change the only way to properly protect ourselves is to take radical action to lower of reliance on fossil fuels.

If the Government is serious about protecting the UK from flooding, and wants to live up to it’s claim of being the ‘Greenest Government Ever’ then it will end it’s obsession with climate change causing energy production like fracking.

We know that widespread fracking would see us pumping evermore harmful emissions into our atmosphere when we should be drastically cutting levels of greenhouse gases, yet the Government are falsely touting shale as some sort of ‘green’ solution. It’s time to expose this fallacy and move towards using sustainable sources of energy that don’t lead to increases in extreme weather.”

Yesterday Keith Taylor called for cuts to the Environment Agency to be reversed and for the Environment Secretary to be sacked. He said:

“The Government’s planning for this flooding, and their response since it began, has been utterly inadequate. We have known for a long time that climate change will cause more events like this, yet we were utterly underprepared for these devastating floods.

Though individual weather events can’t be explicitly linked to climate change the evidence suggests that we can expect more of this kind of extreme weather in the future.

If the Government is serious about tackling flooding in the future than they must both work to develop flood defences and, crucially, do everything in their power to cut our addiction to climate changing fossil fuels.

The fact is that the Government’s Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has cut funding on measures aimed at protecting Britain from global warming and he repeatedly fails to take climate change seriously.

In the short term the Government can do two things to help the fight against flooding. Firstly they should reverse cuts to the Environment Agency and secondly they should sack Owen Paterson, an Environment Secretary who just isn’t up to the job of protecting our environment.”

Mr Taylor call for Owen Paterson be sacked comes after he was accused by environmental groups of ‘incompetency’ after slashing spending on measures to help Britain cope with global warming.