Posts Tagged ‘Defra’

38 Degrees Petition to Remove the Ban on Onshore Windfarms

November 14, 2022

Here’s another petition I got from 38 Degrees, and it also shows up the hypocrisy of Rishi Sunak and the Tories. Sunak has been talking up the advantages of green energy at the very same time he and his wretched gang of robbers are trying to limit it. Despite its advantages, the Tories have placed a ban on onshore windfarms which this petition hopes to lift. It runs

Over 70% of us support this, so why is it banned?

“…diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables is precisely the way to insure ourselves against the risks of energy dependency.”

David, these are the words that our PM, Rishi Sunak, delivered to COP27 on Monday. [1] But just before this, his government announced that onshore wind farms would stay banned in England – limiting the amount of renewable energy we can generate here. [2] It doesn’t make sense!

At a time when energy bills are soaring, you would think the PM would be doing everything in his power to reduce them – instead of banning such a cheap source of energy. [3] And wind power is hugely popular here in the UK – even 84% of Conservative voters want it! [4] The Government’s decision to take it off the table is quite baffling.

Right now Rishi Sunak, his green policies and his COP27 appearance is all over the news. And we know public pressure works on Rishi’s environmental policies. In recent weeks he’s U-turned on fracking and whether or not he’d be going to COP27 in the first place. [5] Let’s add our voices together again and tell the PM that we, the public, want him to u-turn on wind power too.

David, will you add your name to a petition calling on Rishi Sunak to scrap the ban on onshore wind farms? For every 500 signatures, we’ll send him a message telling him how much bigger the petition has grown. It takes 30 seconds to sign:

ADD MY NAME

Building an onshore wind farm and maintaining it creates less emissions than any other energy source and can be done in just a few months. [6] The areas they’re built on can still be used for farming too, so it’s a win-win situation. The need for cheap energy quickly has never been higher than now.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to re-ban fracking was the right call, but keeping the ban on wind power is not. The UK has the largest wind energy resource in Europe – so onshore wind farms should be a no-brainer. [7]

In the past few months, together we have accomplished so much for our environment: The Government released its plan to stop sewage pollution, fracking was banned – again – and just last week we were part of a national outcry that persuaded Rishi to attend COP27. [8] We only brought about this change because we did it as a community. So let’s do it again and get Rishi to scrap the ban on new onshore wind farms.

Will you add your name to the petition now? It’ll take just 30 seconds:

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Megan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] Gov.uk: PM statement at COP27: 7 November 2022
[2] Daily Mail: Now ban on onshore wind farms will stay as Rishi Sunak axes another Liz Truss policy
[3] The Guardian: England is failing to capitalise on its onshore wind potential 
[4] Renewable UK: Polling in every constituency in Britain shows strong support for wind farms to drive down bills
[5] The Guardian: Rishi Sunak will keep ban on fracking in UK, No 10 confirms
Sky News: PM makes ‘screeching U-turn’ on attending COP27 – and all his campaign pledges are under review
[6] National Grid: Onshore vs offshore wind energy: what’s the difference?
[7] See note 4
[8] DEFRA: Consultation on the Government’s Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan
See note 5′

I’ve signed it, and if you feel the same, please feel free to do so as well.

38 Degrees Invite Water Company Heads to Fake Festival of Sewage

October 2, 2022

This is a highly amusing idea. In order to make the point that the sewage the water companies are allowing to get into the environment isn’t acceptable, 38 Degrees are asking their supporters to send the heads of their local water companies fake invitations to a festival of sewage. I go this email and invitation about it on Friday.

Coming to a river or beach near you David: SEWAGE FEST 2022!

Okay, so we’re not actually putting on a festival celebrating sewage pollution. I know, shocking. But today copies of this poster really did start appearing in Brighton, one of many beaches affected by sewage pollution this summer. [1] The message to water companies? Sort. It. Out.

The 38 Degrees community has a history of using fun and creative ideas to make a serious point – and this time is no different! With the Government asking water companies to develop better plans to tackle sewage pollution, it’s the perfect time to publicly shame them – and make sure they really do step up their game. [2]

So here’s the plan: Imagine thousands of us inviting water company bosses to ‘attend’ Sewage Fest 2022 by sharing VIP tickets with them over Twitter (after all, it just wouldn’t have been possible without them!). It’ll be massively embarrassing for them – as well as spreading the word about the campaign!

So David, will you tweet the CEO of your water company a ticket to Sewage Fest 2022 now – and publicly pressure them to clean up their act? The ticket design is below – we hope you like it!

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

So why now? Well, a few weeks ago the new Environment Secretary told water companies to produce more ambitious plans for tackling sewage pollution. [3]

It’s positive news – and only happened because of a huge amount of public pressure. [4] But with everything else going on in the world (and there’s a lot right now) we need to make sure water companies know we’re watching – and won’t accept watered down proposals!

Last week, thousands of us emailed water company CEOs demanding they make their plans as ambitious as possible. [5] But we can’t stop there. Just imagine those same CEOs being publicly invited to an ‘event’ of their own making – Sewage Fest 2022! VIP tickets too, what a treat. Together we can publicly embarrass them, making them feel the heat over their collective failure to tackle the issue.

So will you tweet the CEO of your water company – inviting them to Sewage Fest 2022 and hold them accountable for their disgusting mess? Just click below and you’ll be sent to a page where you can select your water company.

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Matt, Megan, Angus and the 38 Degrees Team

NOTES:
[1] Our posters are all over Brighton – you can see examples herehere, and here!
The Telegraph (paywall): Sewage now pollutes every single beach between Brighton and Hastings
BBC News: Sussex beaches: People advised not to swim after sewage releases
The Independent: England’s most polluted rivers as sewage pumped into waterways for 2.6m hours
[2] Daily Mail: Water companies given two week deadline by government to show how they will stop sewage being pumped into rivers and beaches
Sky News: Water company bosses given 14 days to set out sewage dumping plans, new environment secretary says
[3] See note 2
[4] BBC News: Environment Bill passes following lengthy battle over sewage
38 Degrees: Stop dumping raw sewage into our seas and waterways
DEFRA: Storm overflows discharge reduction plan
The Rivers Trust: Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan still too little, too late
[5] 38 Degrees: Enough is enough: draw up ambitious plans to fix our outdated sewage system

‘I’ Newspaper: England Could Run Out Of Water in 20 Years

July 11, 2020

Yesterday’s I for 10th July 2020 carried an article by Madeleine Cuff, ‘England ‘at risk of running out of water’, which reported that MPs had criticized the water authorities for the state of the country’s water supply. The article ran

MPs have issued a stinging rebuke to England’s water authorities, warning the country is at “serious risk” of running out water within 20 years unless “urgent action” is taken to shore up supplies.

“It is very hard to imagine, in this country, turning the tap and not having enough clean, drinkable water come out – but that is exactly what we now face,” said Public Accounts Committee chair Mog Hillier.

In a report published today, it accused the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency, and the water regulator Ofwat of having “taken their eyes off the ball” in the race to secure a sustainable long-term supply of fresh water. It follows similarly stark warnings from the national Audit Office in March.

England is already extracting groundwater at unsustainable rates, and as climate change brings hotter, drier weather, water supply will come under more intense pressure.

Yet every day more than three billion litres of fresh drinking water is lost through leakages, a fifth of the total volume used. Urgent action must be taken to reduce this “wholly unacceptable” level of leakages.

Meanwhile, industry action to persuade the public to use less water has “failed”, the MPs added.

The water crisis has been going on a long time, and doesn’t only affect England. It’s all over the world. Viewers of Stacy Dooley’s documentary a few months ago into the massive environmental impact of the ‘fast fashion’ industry will remember the scenes of the dried-up wastes of what used to be the Caspian Sea, caused by Uzbekistan diverting the water to irrigate the fields for its cotton industry. Way back in the 1990s the Financial Times covered the emerging water crisis in arid countries in Africa and the Middle East, and predicted that in this century conflict over water would become the major cause of war.

The I and other papers also published reports years ago about the declining state of Britain’s own water supply. Even at the time water extraction, including that for industrial purposes, was exceeding the supply. And when I was at Bristol University studying for the archaeology doctorate nearly a decade ago, we had a visiting archaeologist tell us in a seminar about the effects of climate change on civilizations across the world down through time that we needed to save water.

It is not, however, just the water authorities’ fault. The real responsibility lies with the water companies and their privatisation. They were sold to mostly foreign companies with the promise that this would bring extra investment. It hasn’t. The foreigners who own our water supply simply regard it as a profit-stream, rather than a vital utility. The profits have gone out of the country, while they themselves have done precious little to maintain the water supply to an acceptable standard.

And if the water authorities haven’t done much about this, it’s because they were deliberately prevented from doing so by the Tories when the water industry was privatized. There were a series of reports in Private Eye about how the Tories had cut back the scope and regulatory powers of Defra, Ofwat and their predecessors, so that their ability to interfere in the running of the new, privatized companies was severely limited.

The crisis has been going on for a long time. And it is partly due to Margaret Thatcher and her insistence on the primacy of private industry. But private industry has shown itself incompetent to run the water supply. It’s one of the reasons its renationalisation was in the 2019 Labour manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn.

But Corbyn was massively smeared and reviled by the establishment right and their poodle media. Which is why we now have a parliament, who will do nothing about this, adding drought and thirst to the misery they are inflicting on the poor.