An important petition to sign please!
The Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (WANA) is becoming increasingly concerned about what is happening in Wales and surrounding areas around energy.
New nuclear reactors are planned on Anglesey and SMR’s at Trawsfynydd, radioactive mud is about to be dumped in the Cardiff Grounds from construction at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station (Somerset) and the Swansea Tidal Lagoon has just been ditched.
This UK Government is totally sold on an outdated and dangerous nuclear programme that will cost the earth and leave radioactive waste behind for decades for future generations to deal with.
North Hfds Green Party candidate Dr Ellie Chowns slams ‘incoherent and inconsistent’ government energy policy
Dr Ellie Chowns, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for North Herefordshire, this week called on the government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ on renewable energy. Visiting successful Fownhope-based solar business Caplor Energy, Dr Chowns praised the vision and dynamism of the renewable energy sector, but strongly criticised the government’s incoherent and inconsistent policy.
Dr Chowns said: “Businesses like this are the engine of our future economy and are vital to help us deal with climate change and fuel poverty. Our energy system is creaking at the seams and simply isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century. The government is dragging its feet on modernisation, and we’re still waiting for the energy strategy they promised to publish by the end of 2016.”
“It’s clear that we urgently need a major shift in how we generate and use energy in order to meet our national and international climate commitments. The vast majority of fossil fuels must be left in the ground in order for us to have any chance of avoiding climate disaster. We should be aiming for a 100% renewable energy-based economy by 2050, while at the same time tackling fuel poverty and investing seriously in energy efficiency. But current policies mean we’re going to miss our 2020 renewables target (1).”
Council figures show that Herefordshire homes are less energy efficient than the national average, and Herefordshire has one of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the country (2). Half of the houses in Herefordshire are suitable for solar PV – but only a tiny percentage have actually had it installed.
Said Dr Chowns, “The transition to a green energy future is being hindered, not helped, by incoherent government policy. Business needs consistency so that it can plan and invest for the long-term. Instead, the weak leadership of the Conservatives on energy and climate change has created serious instability for the sector, made worse by Brexit-related price hikes. Warm words aren’t enough; it’s time for the government to start walking the talk on building a green economy fit for our children.”
Photo: Dr Ellie Chowns and Gareth Williams, Managing Director of Fownhope-based Caplor Energy, with one of the latest solar photovoltaic panels
A Herefordshire business has benefited from the first Business Energy Efficiency Programme, set up to help lower running costs and promote energy efficiency.
Caplor Energy, based in Fownhope, is the first business in the county to be awarded the grant. The company was awarded £12,236 for an innovative energy storage project to capture energy from its solar panels.
If we cancelled Trident, imagine what we could spend on home insulation, reducing energy bills for struggling households. A safer world, reducing climate changing emissions, warmer homes and wealthier families – what’s not to like?
As part of the Global Days of Action Against Military Spending, Hereford Peace Council will be having a stall in High Town, Hereford, from 10.00-14.00 on Saturday, 22nd April.
More information on huge military spending in a time of austerity can be found here.
Herefordshire Council are meeting this Friday 16 December at 9.30 am to consider fracking in the county. There will be a peaceful anti-fracking presence outside Shire Hall from 9am, to show councillors that people care about protecting the county’s environment – and its tourist industry!
This is due to a motion tabled by Conservative Kerne Bridge Councillor Paul Newman. The motion is not as strong as we would like, as it only refers to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and recommends ‘considering the risks’ rather than saying no to fracking in principle, because the risks are well known. Nevertheless, the debate and decision are important. It may identify councillors, including those from the governing Conservative group such as Paul Newman, who are opposed to fracking, and it could support our campaign to keep it out of Herefordshire. A strong vote against fracking would also put Herefordshire in line with Gloucestershire which recently voted against (although Conservatives abstained!)
The motion for Friday states: –
“I therefore call upon this Council to resolve that: The Executive be asked to consider the risks of hydraulic fracturing, and the high importance of tourism income to this County and to write accordingly to the Secretary of State to ask the Government to consider withholding any licence which would allow fracking and any associated hydrocarbon extraction processes in or under Herefordshire’s vitally important Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Please join us if you can at 9am outside Shire Hall to show councillors arriving for the meeting that keep Herefordshire frack-free matters to local people.
A reminder that ‘Fracking the Shire’ is the title of our Big Green Conversation at De Koffie Pot on Thursday 24th November, 7pm for 7.30pm. Come along to find out what the fuss is about, what’s going on globally, and how it could affect Herefordshire specifically.
All welcome – please invite family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. If you can, download and email this poster around – or print and display!
Hereford MP Jesse Norman has criticised Labour for saying it would ban fracking.
A Hereford Green spokesperson said: ‘Jesse Norman may find it interesting explaining his love of fracking to residents of South Herefordshire as they worry about falling house prices, polluted water supplies, earthquakes and damage to our tourist industry if the frackers are allowed to do their dirty work here in the beautiful Wye Valley. Why is he not putting all his effort into developing our renewables industry instead?’
Green MP Caroline Lucas welcomed Labour’s opposition to fracking but challenged them to oppose Hinkley too.
The Green Party believes that climate change is such an emergency that we have no time to use fossil fuel such as shale gas even to ‘transition’ to greener technology, and that this is a dangerous distraction.
All investment should be in renewable energy which would not only protect water supplies, the wider environment and our tourist industry, but would create local jobs too.
In July, Jesse Norman was appointed to a junior ministerial post (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. His energy responsibilities are Nuclear and Oil & Gas including shale gas. Soon after his appointment, we contacted him to seek a meeting, intending to discuss the Hinkley Point decision, and fracking, among other issues.
We met him just after Hinkley Point was given the go ahead and shared our views on fracking, managing energy demand, the transport sector, home insulation, ratification of the Paris Agreement (COP21) and the extent to which government should directly manage the UK’s low carbon transition. Unsurprisingly, there are still considerable differences between his position and ours, but it was a nonetheless a useful meeting.
The Ross Gazette reports that Frack Off Our Forest, a local pressure group, is urging Herefordshire residents to write to their local MP, Jesse Norman, if they believe that fracking should not be allowed in the Wye Valley or the Forest of Dean.
It was revealed last year that areas of the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean are currently under consideration for fracking and gas and oil exploration.
On Thursday, July 21st, it was announced that South Western Energy had formally been issued a Government licence to explore for gas and oil. This licence had been offered to the company in December last year, and Frack Off Our Forest had been attempting to persuade the Government to withdraw this offer.
This licence area covers the whole of the Forest of Dean and a part of the Wye Valley. The licence gives South Western Energy exclusive rights to explore for gas or oil by drilling into rock and coal seams in the area.