7 Dec 2006

GORDON BROWN'S LAST BUDGET: "MORE GREENWASH"

this from eastern region green party is worth reading, I was wondering too like James Abbot, what is a zero carbon house...a high carbon house which you off set by buying some rainforest and getting the Indonesian army to guard against papuans, before it is burnt and planted with fast growing palm oil crops?

GORDON BROWN'S LAST BUDGET: "MORE GREENWASH"
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS TOO URGENT FOR "GESTURE POLITICS", SAY GREENS

Much heralded 'green' taxation measures in Gordon Brown's pre-Budget report are predictably disappointing and just another attempt to 'greenwash' the Labour Government. Whats worse, they will fail to make any real impact on tackling climate change, according to Green MEP Caroline Lucas.

Dr Lucas, who was recently voted in to the list of the top 100 green campaigners of all time said

"As the Stern report argued, protecting the environment and preventing the worst impacts of climate change are the most urgent problems we face - and the measures announced today won't make any real difference to either.

This pre-Budget report is little more than an attempt to 'greenwash' the Government and outflank the Tories' own bid to present itself as the 'party of the environment'.

Measures such as marginally increasing fuel duty and doubling Air Passenger Duty may well raise millions for Gordon Brown to spend on replacing Trident - but they aren't nearly enough to make a real difference to climate change.

Dr Lucas, Green Party MEP for South-East England, member of the European Parliament's influential Environment Committee and the parliament's spokesperson on aviation and climate change, added

"Research by the Civil Aviation Authority has revealed the average income of passengers passing through Stansted Airport last year topped £50,000 per annum. An increase of £5 on flights leaving the airport represents just one ten thousandth of their income."


Cllr. James Abbott, Eastern Region Green Party Spokesperson on Climate Change and Transport said

"It is clear that Gordon Brown and this very un-green Labour Government don't understand the sustainability agenda and are deliberately trying to fool people. Under Labour, UK CO2 emissions have risen. Road traffic and jets flights have risen and the Government is actually wanting more of the same with plans for major new roads and runways.

They commissioned Stern to produce a report which clearly warned of the huge economic costs of not tackling climate change, swiftly followed by the Barker report calling for planning controls to be weakened so that roads and airports and other major unsustainable developments can be fast-tracked to sprawl over more of our dwindling countryside, generating yet more CO2.

The Green Party would increase taxes on aviation and the most polluting cars to a far greater extent than Gordon Brown would ever dare do. But we would also cut rail fares and invest heavily in public transport to give people real choices - making more sustainable forms of travel the best financial, as well as the best environmental choice.

Its not clear what Gordon Brown intends when he says he wants to move to zero carbon housing. The Green Party enthusiastically supports low and zero emissions developments, but local authorities often struggle to get major developers to agree to sustainable design such as solar panels and wind turbines and unless the Government gives councils the planning powers to ensure new housing is genuinly zero carbon, it simply will not happen.With the dreadful Braker report just off the presses and both Labour and the Tories clamouring to weaken the planning system its looks like another case of green rhetoric thwarted by grey reality - in this case the fact that Labour and the Tories dont want to upset their pals in the construction industry who are far more concerned about todays profits than tomorrows climate meltdown."


ENDS

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