Location: Fawley Refinery, SO45 1TX
Date: Saturday 14th December 2007
Time: 12:00 noon
Fawley Refinery Demonstration
Fuel taxes are needed to combat climate change
The Green Party are to demonstrate at Fawley Refinery main entrance (SO45 1TX) on Saturday December 14th 2007, starting at 12 noon, to counter the fuel protesters who plan to be at refineries on the same day. These fuel protestors are chiefly hauliers and farmers who want cheap fuel prices to continue.
Fuel taxes not only serve to dissuade people from excessive vehicle use, but can provide money for effective public transport and renewable energy projects to help fight climate change, if they are invested properly. Some taxes, such as this, are fully justified and may need to be higher. We must reduce our fossil fuel usage and also encourage the development of alternative fuels. Over-use of fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change and pollution, and our current dependency upon them cannot be sustained as the finite natural resources run out.
It would be am enormous mistake to keep fuel prices cheap. The hauliers and farmers who are calling for this appear to want to continue to pay low prices and hence to waste scarce resources, pollute our planet and make climate change even worse. Reducing fuel taxes would be disastrous for our long term future.
Fuel protests are taking place around the country this weekend at the "high" cost of petrol. The reality is that the cost of motoring has declined under Labour, and the Green Party believes that the price of fuel should reflect all of its environmental costs.
John Spottiswoode, spokesman for South West Hampshire Green Party said “Unfortunately we need to pay a lot for fuel as it is a key element of global warming and tax is one way to tackle this problem. Taxes provide us with a vital impetus as we go 'cold turkey' to cure our addiction to cheap fuel. We must encourage alternatives, which means funding the good and taxing the bad fuels. Renewable energy can be used for ever, but fossil fuels will either run out or poison our planet all too soon.”
"We can't keep using the car for short trips to the shops and expect carbon emissions to drop. If we have cheaper petrol, people will drive more and emit more carbon. Instead, we need government support for EU-wide targets on car emissions, as well as investment in a range of sustainable public transport options. Are we really serious about reducing our carbon emissions? If so we must tax fossil fuels heavily. We have to do it for the sake of our planet and our own future.”
“With the UNFCCC in Bali finishing this week, are we going to rack up our CO2 emissions yet again with ever increasing fossil fuel usage? The government needs to stand firm on these issues if we are to reach emissions targets set out under Kyoto/UNFCCC, and match rhetoric with action. "
“'Whilst the Green Party respects the hauliers' right to protest, we have urged them to do so in public spaces such as towns and cities, rather than by causing mass disruption at refineries. By ignoring this, the hauliers are refusing the public the right to voice their opinions, either through support or objection to their protest. The Green Party therefore feels it is necessary to stand up for the significant part of the population who wish to see action on climate change, but we stress that we do NOT plan to disrupt fuel movements in any way.”
Notes for Editors:
* Fuel Protestors are planning protests at refineries across the country on Saturday.
* Rebecca Lush Blum (Campaign for Better Transport) wrote in the Guardian 13th December 2007: "High prices are down to oil scarcity, wars in oil-producing countries, global inflation and oil company profits, not high taxation. The real cost of motoring has declined since 1997, while public transport fares have rocketed. Tax as a percentage of the fuel price has not been this low since 1993."
For more information please contact:
John Spottiswoode, SW Hants Green Party
14 Evelyn Crescent, Southampton, SO15 5JE
Email: john.spottiswoode at btinternet.com