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Party Pledge to be “Greenest Government Ever” Rings Hollow

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The following article is from the Independent Newspaper UK (Wednesday 26 October) and lists nine subject areas in which the Conservative  Party dominated coalition government is pulling back on green issues, much of which represents advances made over the last ten years or so, and just one environmental issue on which the government has carried out a U-turn, due to protests:

1. Rural Planning Reforms
 
Suggested new planning rules would terminate the hypothesis that the normal countryside is valuable and will definitely be protected. Instead, the default answer to development offers will be “Yes”.

2. Green Investment Bank

The Green Investment Bank, set up to back major replenishable energy projects, won’t be permitted to borrow till 2015, considerably limiting its powers. Critics say that’s been a behind the scenes fix.

3. Gagging of Government Agencies

Natural Britain (wildlife watchdog), the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission have all been told they’re banned from policymaking, or commenting on policy.

4. Abolition of Advisory Panels

The Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution have simply been dumped.

5. Illegal Tropical Timber  Logging

The Tory manifesto guaranteed the possession of unlawfully imported tropical timber would be a criminal offence. This guarantee has been left as if forgotten.

6. Eco-homes

The meaning of “zero carbon” for new eco-homes has been sustantially diluted by not counting carbon emissions stemming from plugin appliances ( from cookers to Television sets ) – up to 1/2 of the household total.

7. Aggregates Fund

The aggregates levy sustainability fund, which raised millions of pounds from sand and gravel and recycled it to virtually 2 hundred green projects, has been discontinued.


 

8. Essentail Oil Spill Tugboats

Funding is being withdrawn for 4 ocean-going tugs , for example the Anglian Sovereign , deigned for emergency towing  of oil tankers in trouble.

9. 80mph Motorway Road Speed Limit Rise

Raising the road speed limit to 80mph will add more than 2,000,000 tonnes a year to Britain’s CO-2 emissions, according to the Government’s Global Warming Panel .

10. Forests sell-off
 
The Government decided to sell off the public forest estate, although there had been no mention of the idea in either the Conservative manifesto or the Coalition document. Public outrage stopped them.

What hope is there that more of these points will be turned around by public opinion, or the objections of the coalition’s Liberals party members?

To read the original article go to http://www.independent.co.uk .

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