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A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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UK should still respect European green laws

Added on 02 September 2016

A group of 10 European environmental bodies has told European leaders that the EU must insist on full respect from the UK for its environmental acquis – its body of laws – both existing and future if it wants continued access to the single market.

The Green 10 group of environmental NGOs has written to the three EU presidents calling for a series of measures to be discussed the forthcoming informal EU-27 leaders’ summit in Bratislava. These include joint action on climate change, natural resources, ecosystems, biodiversity and health.

"The EU is at a crossroads," says the letter. "It can either continue on the current path of deregulation and ‘less Europe’ – a path which has clearly failed to convince citizens both in the UK and across the Union – or it can embark on something new, answering to the needs and aspirations of European citizens. On this new path, instead of focussing on promoting globalisation, the EU would direct its efforts towards managing its impacts on our planet and ensuring that all its citizens can live a good life, well within the planetary boundaries."

Green 10 says EU environmental laws have drastically improved the standard of living in Europe and need further tightening. It says a patchwork of national laws will serve no-one.

The group also calls for an end to current trade negotiations like CETA and TTIP which threaten sustainable development and a review of the Common Agricultural Policy. It wants firm greenhouse gas targets.

"As regards the future relationship with the UK, the EU must insist on the full respect for and participation in the EU’s environmental acquis, both existing and future, as a condition for full access to the single market," it says.

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