Hydrogen: the potential and the pitfalls

Hydrogen could play an key role in our future energy supply – but only if its produced from renewable electricity. Watch this short summary of the pros and cons of hydrogen as a renewable energy source: a presentation given by the WWF Climate and Energy team, at a workshop I hosted in the European Parliament just before the end of January. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is now on the agenda in the UK. We must ensure the Government gets it right. It will not solve all our energy problems, but it could help play a part.

 

Getting up to speed with hydrogen: students talk about Hyschool and climate literacy

With the Government showing some interest in hydrogen this summer- its now getting topical. Yet Manchester Metropolitan University has already developed a programme about hydrogen information. A few months ago I interviewed staff and student from MMU about their role in hydrogen education and in climate literacy. Watch this 12 minute summary of what they are doing…

 

Build Back Better

Can we build a better future in living with Coronavirus?

Gina Dowding as one of your Green Councillors in Lancaster, would like  feedback on what to push for as the lockdown is eased. What can we learn? What can we do better? How could Lancaster City Council and the County Council better help local people in future?

Are there things that we should do differently?

Please fill in this short questionnaire – and please share it with your friends.

 

MEPs Urge Commission to End Double Standards on Trade with Occupied Territories

31 January 2020 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEPs have called on the Commission to act on the issue of EU trade with occupied territories. By urging the Commission to propose an EU-initiative on the matter, they hope the EU can ensure full compliance with both European and international law, notably the obligation of non-recognition of unlawful occupation.

This follows a roundtable hosted in the European Parliament on Wednesday 29 January 2020 during which legal and policy experts debated the divergent and piecemeal approaches of the EU towards trade with occupied territories.

On one side, the EU imposed sanctions on Russia in relation to the occupation of Crimea, while on the other, it has included the territory of Western Sahara in its bilateral agreements with the occupying power, Morocco. In Palestine, experts highlighted the lack of implementation of EU rules concerning the correct labelling of Israeli settlement products. Towards other situations of occupation such as Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh or Northern Cyprus, participants considered the EU’s approach as a best practice to be emulated.

Gina Dowding MEP said:

“Incoherent trade policy undermines the EU’s foreign policy credibility and is also misleading European consumers as to the origin of goods. That creates insecurity and legal risks for EU-based companies. The Irish bill on trade in occupied territories was noted as an encouraging initiative at the national level, which deserved attention and support.”

Participants outlined how current challenges could be overcome, notably through the adoption of a comprehensive policy towards situations of occupation, a mandatory and public register of EU-based importers of goods from occupied territories, accessible and detailed statistical data on trade flows, and a mechanism to protect individuals from these territories, whose property rights may have been violated by illicit trade.

In light of this, MEPs Gina Dowding, Margrete Auken, Grace O’Sullivan, Petra de Sutter and Ernest Urtasun urgently called on the Commission to cease its policy of double standards towards situations of occupied territories. There is an urgent need to adopt a fair and coherent approach to EU trade policy that conforms with its stated ambition to act as a benevolent, global player that is committed to international law and to conflict resolution.

 

ENDS

 

Pro-Europeans have a right to help shape future relationship with Europe, say UK’s Greens

For immediate release: 29th January 2020 

The UK’s seven Green MEPs have issued a statement following the vote in the European Parliament on the Withdrawal Agreement, in which they voted against.

The Green MEPs responded:

“In spite of the powerful campaign waged by Greens and many others for almost four years, with a deep sense of regret and grief, we accept that the UK will leave the EU this Friday. But Brexit isn’t done; the negotiations over the nature of our future relationship are only just beginning.

“Europe is a beacon of peace in the world, upholding human rights, leading the world on climate change, protecting our environment and safeguarding consumer standards. And we believe that in the months ahead pro-Europeans, who would prefer us to remain in the EU and who make up at least half the electorate, have a right to help shape our future relationship with Europe.

“So we urge the Prime Minister to aim for a settlement that maintains the vital legal protections offered by our EU membership. For Greens, this must include freedom of movement, a privilege we are proud to champion because it offers the chance to live, work and form relationships across 27 other countries.

 “It is particularly important for our young people that we maintain the closest possible relationship with our European neighbours as we know they are considerably more pro-European than older generations. It is their future that is being limited by leaving the EU. So, while now is not the time to campaign to re-join the EU, we will nonetheless aspire to this in the future.”

The departure of the UK’s Green MEPs, representing seven different regions of England and forming the largest ever Green Party delegation to the European Parliament, will be a significant loss to the Greens/EFA group. The group’s MEPs will be reduced from 74 to 63 as the Greens/EFA group included Scottish and Welsh nationalist MEPs.

ENDS

Notes

The UK’s seven Green MEPs are Molly Scott Cato (South West), Alexandra Phillips (South East), Catherine Rowett (East), Ellie Chowns (West Midlands), Gina Dowding (North West), Magid Magid (Yorkshire and the Humber), Scott Ainslie (London)