World Environment Day today -- and the Euro elections, just 365 days away...
Today, is World Environment Day. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the world's climate; but also, with exactly one year to go to the 2009 European Elections, there is an opportunity to make this region and the world -- a greener place to live: by electing a Green MEP.
World Environment day is commemorated each year on 5 June, and is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
The World Environment Day slogan for 2008 is Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the main greenhouse gas produced by society, is rising relentlessly and is now believed to be at a level not seen on the planet for nearly a million years.
As lead MEP candidate for this Region, I fully support World Environment Day and the need to cut carbon emissions. Many people are doing their bit to make greener choices, but
During this election campaign I intend to trumpet head on the fact that "business as usual" growth economics is incompatible with making the required cuts in emissions and is not delivering a better society: people are less happy now that they were in 1970, when the economy was less than half the size that it now is.
The Government continues to pretend that we can tackle dangerous climate change whilst building another runway at Stansted, expanding roads, building incinerators and concreting over large areas of countryside for development. They are wrong.
The Green Party will over the coming months be setting out the measures that we believe are needed to move towards a genuinely sustainable society. Here is an outline:
Centralised development targets should be scrapped and replaced with local measures of the numbers and locations of homes needed in each area - particularly affordable homes. The Government should remove the mechanisms that are leading more and more councils to plan to build waste incinerators. Investment should be directed entirely to raising levels of recycling and composting. Nuclear power is uneconomic and will not stop dangerous climate change: The tens of billions that new nuclear power stations would cost should be spent on a major programme of energy efficiency and investment in renewables, to make Eastern Region a leader in green energy and in green jobs. The road building programme should be scrapped, with money spent instead on road safety and a big expansion of public transport to reduce road traffic levels and improve air quality.
These are the radical measures needed to help tackle climate change. Electing a Green MEP in one year's time will be a major positive step towards making sure these changes become reality. And with proportional representation at the European Elections, every Green vote counts.