The clock is rapidly ticking down to the UN climate summit in Glasgow in
November, with many issues still to be resolved. I was glad to hear the COP
president, Alok Sharma, speak out about the need for richer nations to
honour the commitment they made in 2015 to provide $100 billion a year in
funding for the global south to adapt to and mitigate climate change. For
the UK Government to be an effective host of COP26, it must ensure this
climate finance is delivered as grants not loans, and raise the UK's own
climate ambitions with specific plans to deliver them. Sadly the
Government's cruel cuts to the UK's own aid budget means it has far less
credibility in making this case.
With the extreme weather events we have seen already this summer - from
sweltering temperatures in North America, to deadly floods in Europe and
China, landslides in India and extreme rainfall here in the UK - it is
clear that we need to act much faster on climate. It's not necessary to
wait for an agreement in Glasgow - change has to happen now.
THE CLIMATE & ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY BILL
The 100 days moment was marked with the publication of a new version of the
Climate and Ecology Bill  which I first introduced in Parliament last
September, and the launch of a Zero Hour campaign. The Bill would put
limiting global heating to 1.5C into law; address both the climate crisis
and collapse in biodiversity; and give citizens a meaningful voice in
decision-making as we make the transition to zero carbon emissions.
The Bill has the backing of 110 MPs from eight political parties, and
support from climate scientists and public figures, but there is still some
way to go before it becomes law. Wherever you live, please urge your MP and
Council to support the Bill, if they've not already done so.
And please support the petition  for a parliamentary debate on what's
driving the climate and nature emergency - an economic model that
prioritise GDP growth over people's wellbeing and the health of the
environment. We've another two months to reach 100,000 signatures to secure
A GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL
I'm delighted to be working alongside some remarkable politicians from
around the world in aGlobal Alliance for a Green New Deal . Members of
this alliance include Representative Ilhan Omar from the US, Congresswoman
Paola Vega Rodriguez from Costa Rica, Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana from
Brazil and Labour MP Clive Lewis here in the UK. Our aim is to share
experiences, inspire one another and improve the chance of real progressive
change, nationally and globally.
The launch of the Global Alliance was covered in the Guardian , and I
spoke about it on Sky News' climate show  - look out for more of the
Alliance's members on the programme in the coming weeks.
As a member of the all-party coronavirus group, I've heard witness
testimony over the past year about the impact of Covid on people's lives.
In recent hearings, it's been shocking to hear how Long Covid has
devastated lives and ruined careers. Many of those suffering from it were
key workers, including NHS staff, who contracted it in the course of their
work on the frontline of the pandemic. They are being left without proper
financial support, which is a shocking betrayal of people who risked their
health to help others.
COVID IN BRIGHTON & HOVE
Covid cases are still rising in Brighton & Hove and extra testing sites
have been set up in the city, so please take care when you're out and about
in the city and watch out for others, as you always do. There are mobile
testing sites at Jubilee Square and at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront.
More details about the enhanced Covid measures are available on the
council's website .
NHS PAY OFFER
The Government's response on NHS pay has been both insulting and shambolic.
First it proposed a 1% pay rise for NHS staff (below the rate of inflation,
so effectively a pay cut), then it was raised to 3% which is above
inflation but follows a 15% cut in real terms in the last decade. Not only
that, the pay offer was not announced in Parliament but slipped out in a
late night press release, which had the effect of stopping MPs challenging
it. There was also a pay freeze for teachers - despite the extraordinary
dedication, effort and hours of extra work they've given to children and
young people during the pandemic. It is entirely understandable that unions
are now considering balloting their members on strike action.
THE BUILDING SAFETY BILL
The Building Safety Bill, introduced in response to the Grenfell tower
tragedy, is working its way through Parliament. In its present form, it
fails to resolve the key issue of who pays to remediate the consequences of
20 years of regulation failure in building safety, as leaseholders in
blocks below 18 metres are being left to cover the costs of replacing
dangerous cladding. Where the fire risks are not related to cladding,
homeowners are also being left to pick up the costs. But the fundamental
problem is that the bill is a market-based approach to building safety when
leaving it to the market is what created the problem in the first place.
You can read my blog  about the bill on my website.
DEFENDING MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
I went out with Greenpeace activists to see for myself the huge damage
being caused by fly-shooting fishing trawlers in the seas off Sussex - an
area which is designated as a Marine Protected Area but where this
destructive form of fishing is still legal. It was shocking to see how the
huge nets trap everything in their wake leaving the area a virtual marine
desert. If this were happening in a nature reserve on land, people would
rightly be outraged. It is equally unacceptable at sea. Government pledges
to protected 30 percent of land and marine areas for nature are meaningless
if this kind of fishing is allowed to continue.
Finally, I wish you all a relaxing summer wherever you spend it and hope
you all stay safe.
If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL.
Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]
I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130.
She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.
If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]
You can also keep up to date with my news on:
My Website: www.carolinelucas.com
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