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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
Report from Caroline Lucas and accompanying comment piece
“Brexit need not mean the end of the UK’s strong environmental rules” - Debbie Trippley, WWF legal advisor
“The Implications for UK Environmental Policy of a vote to exit the EU” by Dr. Charlotte Burns (University of York)