Monday, 4 June 2007

PUBLIC MEETING TRANSPORT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Sian Berry, Principal Speaker of the Green Party(1), will be speaking on transport and climate change at Wye Village Hall, Bridge Street, Wye 3.30pm on Saturday 9th June.

She says: "The Government's Energy White Paper(2) has not tackled the challenge of climate change. In Kent, there is a need for traffic reduction in urban areas to remove the 36 areas of high air pollution(3). Converting Kent's airports to other forms of leisure activities and stopping airport expansion is a continuing Kent Green Party effort to promote short-distance greener tourism options. Support for the expanding farmers' markets of the County is essential to reduce the emissions from transport used to move food around the country and around the world. The planned expansion of the port of Dover is also a concern since it is quite clear that Kent's roads cannot accommodate existing numbers of heavy goods vehicles. Charges for such vehicles should be used to help force goods on to rail."

"The UK needs to achieve 9% cuts in carbon emissions each year until 2030, if we are to have a hope of preventing damaging temperature increases. As part of an international effort, the Government must recognize that UK emissions are 12-14% of the global total, not the 2% it claims(4). In particular, it needs to take responsibility for the growing emissions of the aviation and marine sectors. An increase of just 2 degrees centigrade in global temperatures means a scorching summer like that of 2003 every year in Kent. This would seriously damage agriculture and create subsidence of homes as soil shrinks without moisture."

Notes: 1. Sian Berry is the Principal Speaker (Female) of the Green Party of England Wales and a member of the Green Party's Executive Committee. Derek Wall is Principal Speaker (Male);
2. Meeting the Energy Challenge: a white paper on Energy Department of Trade and Industry, May 2007;
3. Kent has 36 Air Quality Management Areas in which air pollutants are above permitted levels. Kent Highways currently has no effective plans to reduce pollution in the affected areas.
4. Christian Aid Coming Clean: revealing the UK's true carbon footprint (Christian Aid, 2007).

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