Local Party campaigns and campaigns we support

 Greener Brexit

1) Recently, Theresa May has set out her ambition to build a "stronger, fairer, more global Britain". She encouraged us to do this not just for ourselves but for "the county's children and grandchildren too". This is precisely why we are so disappointed that the topic of environmental sustainability - which will affect future generations so profoundly - was not mentioned in any of the 12 principles of the Brexit White Paper.

2) We urge the government to commit to a "Green Guarantee" to ensure full environmental protection post-Brexit. Protecting the UK's beautiful environment is something that our people have long cared deeply about. We encourage the government to transcribe the EU's Habitat, Birds, Bathing Water and all other environmental directives fully into UK law.(Click here for more on Brexit campaign)

20 mph speed limit (Twenty's Plenty)

Our policy is for borough wide 20 mph limits on all residential roads. Click here to see more information on the advantages of the 20 mph limit.

Click here for Twenty's Plenty national web site

At the moment we are carrying out surveys of residents' views in Ham. Preliminary results are heavily in favour of the lower limit.

This campaign is also a part of the Cleaner Air campaign. If you are a local resident, why not take Andree's simple survey below?

 

Heathrow expansion

We have campaigned and will continue to campaign against the Heathrow third runway. The Green Party policy opposes all airport expansion due to overarching concerns about our carbon emissions and climate change. The Air Travel industry's exemption from the government's carbon emissions strategy puts too much strain on all other sectors and is impossible to justify. Today, 23rd February, the Environmental Audit Committee accused the government of 'magical thinking' about the environmental effects of Heathrow expansion, saying there is as yet no realistic plan to meet our overall carbon reduction commitments.

There are also powerful arguments against this particular plan on more local environmental grounds (air pollution again and noise) and economic ones, since Heathrow's (and Air Travel's) contribution to the economy has been exaggerated.

Government flyers about the Heathrow consultations taking place are criticised as highly misleading by Richmond Council here.

Richmond Heathrow Campaign's guide to responding to the aircraft noise consultation (pdf)

Respond to government consultation on aircraft noise here.

 

Cleaner Air

Richmond and Twickenham, despite their riversides and their green spaces, are home to many major roads and traffic hotspots. Pollution levels are at illegal limits in many places. The fact that Brixton Road breached legal annual limits in the first week of the year highlights the severity of the problem London faces. The local party supports all organisations fighting for cleaner air. It will put pressure on the council to control pollution and make the borough safer and healthier for residents, and to encourage walking and cycling.

In the last two years, Richmond & Twickenham Green Party’s Chas Warlow has helped to coordinate two air quality monitoring projects – one in Ham & Petersham and the other in Twickenham, Teddington & Richmond. These projects have provided confirmation that our borough has a serious air pollution problem in certain locations, as well as engaging local residents in the issue of air quality. Richmond and Twickenham Green Party is a part of the citizen-led, cross-party umbrella organisation MASC (Make Air Cean and Safe )campaigning to improve air quality in our borough.

Roger Mason of MASC made the following measurements outside primary schools in Kew in 2015.  He is planning to measure levels inside primary schools later this year.

Although there is no absolutely safe level for NO2, the present government target (since 2005) is 40 μg/m3; areas exceeding this limit are highlighted. The bias adjustment is a statistical correction required by the NO2 diffusion tube method, found by reference to DEFRA spreadsheets.

 

 

Friends of the Earth clean air campaign.

 

External campaigns we support:

 

 

Greener Brexit continued

3) We encourage the next government to provide strong leadership on climate change regulation. Climate change is arguably the greatest cross-border challenge that we face, and we need strong cross-border collaboration. There is perhaps no better nation than the UK to lead the way, in working with the EU but also other major economies like the US and China, to establish and enforce aggressive carbon-reduction targets. We should continue membership of cross-border environmental organisations like the European Environmental Agency.

4) We encourage the next government to take strong action on air pollution in the UK, such as banning dirty diesel and promoting the use of zero-emissions vehicles. By ensuring cleaner and purer air, we will help reduce the costs of sickness and premature deaths in the UK.

5) The UK has some of the best universities and research institutions in the world. We encourage the next government to increase support for the eco-tech and clean energy sector. This will not only support an important and growing sector of our economy, but also help drive British innovation worldwide to ensure a more sustainable future for the planet with greater control of climate change.

Find out more about our campaigns at: RichTwickGreens  @RTGreenPar

Further information:

Report from Caroline Lucas and accompanying comment piece

https://www.carolinelucas.com/sites/carolinelucas.com/files/Safe%20Guarding%20Environment%20after%20Brexit.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/13/green-guarantee-brexit-eu-environmental-protection-law

  • Headline message is that a "green guarantee" could help prevent Brexit from ruining our environment
  • Central to this guarantee is continued membership of cross-border organisations like the European Environmental Agency.
  • She points out that there has been too little discussion on the topic of environmental risks of Brexit. 
  • She highlighted the positive impact of the EU's "Habitat and Birds" directive, which was far stronger than any domestic initiative.
  • There is also a risk of the UK becoming a less attractive place for green investments

Guardian article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/13/uk-unprepared-for-exiting-europes-green-legislation-says-mp

 

  • CL is calling for a "green guarantee" to ensure environmental protection is not watered down after Brexit.
  • She also expressed fears that the issue of environmental protection will be ignored as the UK focuses on securing trade deals. 
  • She raised a key concern about enforcement of environmental protection. There is no UK equivalent of a European Commission and European Court of Justic

“Brexit need not mean the end of the UK’s strong environmental rules” - Debbie Trippley, WWF legal advisor

 

  • The UK’s climate change act has been hailed as leading the way on tackling climate change. This act had strong support from the then opposition - Conservatives.
  • Nature conservation laws are cherished by the UK public.
  • The environment was barely mentioned in the Brexit debate

 

 

 

“The Implications for UK Environmental Policy of a vote to exit the EU” by Dr. Charlotte Burns (University of York)

 

https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/eu_referendum_environment.pdf

 

  • The huge progress in improving the UK environment will be at risk without external pressure/incentives (e.g. fines) and auditing from EU actors, especially in the areas of habitat, birds, and bathing water.
  • Before the UK joined the EU, it had the highest sulphur dioxide emissions in the EU and the seas were used as open sewers. Thanks to the EU’s bathing water directives, water quality has improved significantly, which has helped the beach tourism sector in the UK.
  • The environmental pioneers in the EU include Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland (all countries with competitive economies - which prove that environmental protection is not antithetical to economic competitiveness
  • The EU’s Natura 2000 directive has helped compel the UK government to provide protected wildlife zones. (Note: Nature protection is extremely important to UK residents. A survey indicated that 92% of respondents felt it was important for them to live near green spaces)
  • Brexit will also hurt companies in the growing eco-tech sector (e.g. renewable energy, carbon capture). The confederation of British Industry estimated that UK business accounted for a third of business growth (and 8 % of GDP) in 2011-2012.
  • Outside of the EU, the UK will have much less political influence on major economies like the US and China.
  • The UK government had played a leadership role in shaping climate change legislation. Leaving the EU will weaken the UK’s ability to influence other countries
  • In other areas, the UK government had tried to weaken directives (e.g. blocking a pesticide ban that would have protected bees).