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The official website of the

West Oxfordshire branch

of the

Green Party of England and Wales.

 

 

Serving members, supporters and citizens in the towns and villages around West Oxfordshire, including the following wards:

 

  • Alvescot and Filkins
  • Ascott and Shipton
  • Bampton and Clanfield
  • Brize Norton and Shilton
  • Burford
  • Carterton North West
  • Carterton South  
  • Chadlington and Churchill
  • Charlbury and Finstock
  • Chipping Norton
  • Ducklington
  • Eynsham and Cassington
  • Freeland and Hanborough
  • Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield
  • Kingham, Rollright and Enstone
  • Milton under Wychwood
  • North Leigh
  • Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt
  • Stonesfield and Tackley
  • The Bartons
  • Witney Central
  • Witney East
  • Witney North
  • Witney South
  • Witney West
  • Woodstock and Bladon

 

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Green News

Here we bring you the latest news from the Green Party (and beyond). We would love to hear from you on any of the topics so please feel free to comment and add you opinions.  However, all comments will be moderated and offensive or disrespectful reponses to any particular blog will be removed.

 

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Latest Posts

Greens criticise lack of climate action 100 days since Glasgow pact was signed

21 February 2022

 

The Green Party has accused the government of failing in its presidency of COP26 after several significant climate setbacks in the 100 days since the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact [1].

 

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said:

“We are now 100 days since the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact, and yet all we have seen from the government is terrible decision after terrible decision when it comes to meaningful climate action.

 

“From granting a new coal mine licence in Wales [2] to giving the go ahead to airport expansion in Bristol [3], this Conservative government seems to have completely forgotten the promises it made in Glasgow just 100 days ago.

 

“The Glasgow Climate Pact speaks of building resilience to climate change and making efforts to curb emissions. Yet, all we have seen from the government is heading in the wrong way on both of these. 

“And this week will see the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng speak at an event until recently known as International Petroleum Week [4]. Focusing on the interests of the fossil fuel industry is not how we solve the climate chaos that is engulfing us all.

 

To show true climate leadership, we urge the government to commit to just saying ‘no’ to any new fossil fuel expansion and to rapidly transitioning away from existing fossil fuels. The Green Party’s plan to spend £100 billion a year for a decade on a Green New Deal, funded in part through a carbon tax, would transform our society and economy for a green future.”

Greens accuse Johnson of allowing Covid-19 virus to ‘go on the rampage’

21 February 2022

 

*Co-leader calls for continuation of self-isolation with sick pay and free lateral flow tests 

The Green Party is accusing Boris Johnson of allowing the Covid-19 virus to go on the rampage as he announces the lifting of all remaining restrictions, an end to the need to self-isolate if testing positive, and an end to free lateral flow tests. 

 

Co-leader of the Green Party, Adrian Ramsay, said:

“While people will of course welcome the easing of restrictions and return to more normal life, Johnson’s announcement today is reckless. It gives the green light to the Covid-19 virus to go on the rampage. It goes against the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the advice of three quarters of NHS leaders in England who oppose scrapping self-isolation [1].

 

“We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed massive health inequalities in England and Wales. Today’s announcement threatens to extend these inequalities. It leaves the highly vulnerable at the mercy of the virus, while axing free lateral flow tests will discourage those facing a cost of living crisis from getting tested. 

 

“Now is not the time to let up on fighting the virus, especially as we can’t know what new variants may be around the corner. If a more virulent variant emerges, there is a real danger we will find ourselves back to square one. 

 

“The government should continue to require all who test positive to self-isolate with support from guaranteed sick pay as well as maintain free lateral flow tests.”

 

Notes

[1] Boris Johnson to announce plan for 'living with COVID' in Downing Street news briefing today

 

Green Party Deputy Leader calls for action to build climate resilience in response to Storm Eunice

18 February 2022

  • Amelia Womack: “Extreme weather events that used to be once-in-a-lifetime occurrences are now becoming increasingly frequent and ferocious due to climate change.”
  • Greens call for climate crisis emergency response group to prepare country for more extreme weather and accelerate progress towards net zero.

Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack has urged the Government to see the bigger picture as storm warnings are issued across the UK today.

 

Amelia Womack said, “Extreme weather like we are seeing with Storm Eunice is only going to become more common as the climate crisis intensifies.

 

“People will rightly be angry with politicians who have repeatedly failed to protect them. The warnings have been there for years that climate change will increase the frequency and ferocity of storms, yet the Government seems complacent  about the lack of resilience built into our infrastructure or measures to help protect or rebuild people’s lives.   

 

“In fact, the Government’s actions investing in new fossil fuels are only making the problem worse, leaving ordinary people to try and pick up the pieces.

 

The Government needs to support and fund existing local resilience forums to meet the challenge of climate change and undertake a climate resilience review of all our infrastructure. This is particularly urgent for the case of our electricity grid which we will be relying on increasingly as we move beyond gas.

 

“The Prime Minister should urgently convene a climate crisis emergency response group with expert advisors to prepare the country for more extreme weather and accelerate progress towards net zero.”

Green Party demands banks stop funding climate chaos

14 February 2022

 

Responding to a report from Share Action that reveals during 2021, 25 of Europe’s leading banks including HSBC, Barclays and BNP Paribas collectively provided $55 billion to energy companies to expand oil and gas production [1],

 

Green Party finance and economy spokesperson, Molly Scott Cato, said: 

“Banks like HSBC and Barclays are chasing short-term profits at the expense of future generations. The climate emergency demands a steady decline in the value of fossil fuel assets but they are being artificially inflated by the billions banks are throwing at oil and gas. 

 

“This wholly irresponsible action comes in spite of a report from the International Energy Agency that says investment in oil and gas fields must end immediately if we are to have even a 50% chance of keeping temperature rise within the 1.5 degree limit [2].  

 

Dr Scott Cato, who is a Professor of Green Economics, continued:

“As a leading financial centre, the City of London must show global leadership in divesting from the fossil fuel industry rather than inflating it with further finance. We need financial regulators to take action against banks that are failing to meet their own pledges to decarbonise their portfolios and are instead funding climate chaos.”

 

Notes:

[1] ShareAction | ‘Net zero’ banks continue to finance oil & gas expansion

[2] End new oil, gas and coal funding to reach net zero, says IEA | Reuters

 

Green Party condemns stealth taxes on students

10 February 2022

  • Responding to IFS report, Young Greens Co-Chair accuses government of ‘pushing more students into poverty’ and presiding over a system ‘designed to extract money from young people’

The Green Party has responded angrily to evidence that the government is making stealthy changes to the student funding system that will cost students and universities to the tune of £2.3bn.

 

According to the IFS, students will see hefty real-terms cuts to the value of maintenance loans, with the parental earnings threshold frozen at £25,000 when it should have risen to £34,000, meaning many students will not be receiving enough to live on.

 

Kelsey Trevett, Young Greens Co-Chair said:

‘It is disgraceful that at a time of rising inflation that the government has chosen to push more students into poverty by cutting maintenance loans in real terms. Making changes that will particularly penalise young working-class people while simultaneously mouthing platitudes about “levelling up” is dishonest and unjust.’[1]

 

‘As well as creating intolerable cost-of-living pressures for current students, the changes will also see even more money clawed back from them during their working lives. The freezing of the student loan repayment threshold is adding to financial pressures on former students.’ [2]

 

Jane Baston, Co-Chair of Young Greens continued:

‘Our marketised education system of tuition fees and maintenance loans was designed to extract money from young people while leaving them in precarious financial positions during their studies and when they enter the workplace, especially impacting those from working-class backgrounds and traditionally marginalised groups.’

 

Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack added:

‘The Green Party has always opposed the marketisation of higher education. We hold it as a matter of principle that education is a public good and should be funded as a public service. We stand by our policy of abolishing tuition fees and cancelling all existing student debts.’

 

‘We need adequate grant support for current students and to remove the burden of debt from young people as they struggle to gain a foothold in the labour-market.’

 

Notes

The IFS report says the rate at which the level of maintenance loans will be increased – at 2.3% – falls short of both the current level of inflation and predicted levels for the year ahead.

2 The recent government decision to freeze the student loan repayment threshold at £27,295 rather than applying the current rate of inflation means that a graduate earning £30,000 will need to pay £113 more towards their student loan in the next tax year.

More details on the IFS report: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/feb/10/ministers-quietly-tighten-financial-screws-on-students-in-england-ifs 

Greens call for ‘dirty profits tax’

Posted on 20th February, 2022

Greens call for ‘dirty profits tax’ as BP announce ‘astronomical’ profits

Responding to the massive profits announced by BP, which have risen to £9.5bn - the highest level for eight years [1] - the Green Party is calling for an emergency ‘dirty profits tax.’

 

Green spokesperson on Economy and Finance, Molly Scott Cato, said: 

"BP’s astronomical profits on the back of soaring energy prices come at a time when millions are being plunged into fuel poverty and we face a climate crisis. This is dirty money. Greens want to see an emergency ‘dirty profits tax’ imposed on companies like BP that make most of their profits out of pollution.

 

“We say the tax on the profits of oil giants such as BP should rise from its current level of 10% to 35% [2], and the proceeds used to provide an immediate uplift in payments to people qualifying for Income Support schemes [3].

 

“This will make the polluter pay and is a fair tax, helping those in greatest need at such a difficult time. Ultimately, we need a comprehensive carbon tax which is a key Green Party policy [4].”

 

Notes

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60299886  

[2] In 2011, George Osborne’s 32% windfall tax (“supplementary charge”) on North Sea oil & gas companies raised £2 billion.

If the supplementary charge were increased from the current 10% to 35% this year (only slightly higher than the level set by Osborne in 2011), the additional £3,725,000,000 this would raise (on Wood Mackenzie’s profits forecast of £14.9 billion) equate to £1,164 per household if this were distributed to the 3.2 million households estimated to be in fuel poverty in 2019.

A higher number of households will be facing fuel poverty this year than in 2019, so the actual “dividend” per household will be lower. But the amount raised by a windfall tax set at this level would, even without other measures, go a very long way toward closing the fuel poverty gap for households in fuel poverty – and help them to meet the much higher costs of other basic essentials.

[3] Income Support schemes such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Support for Mortgage Interest.

[4] https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2021/10/13/greens-call-on-government-to-bring-in-carbon-tax-at-cop26/ 

Wasted Green Homes Opportunity

Posted on 14th September, 2021

Green Party slams government over wasted Green homes opportunity

8 September 2021

The Green Party has condemned the government’s mismanagement of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, after a National Audit Office report identified it has wildly underdelivered on new energy efficiency home installations and creation of Green jobs.

 

Deputy party leader Amelia Womack said: "News that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme has been a failure comes as no surprise and yet again demonstrates the government’s total lack of commitment to substantive action on the climate crisis.

 

"Decarbonising home heating is a key part of reaching net zero - even the government has managed to identify that. But here we have a scheme that was supposed to contribute to that goal while also delivering energy savings for hundreds of thousands of households and more than eighty thousand jobs, and it’s been totally mismanaged.

 

"A wasted opportunity doesn’t even begin to cover it!"

 

Delays by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in issuing vouchers to homeowners and paying installers were also highlighted in the report.

 

Green Party Green New Deal spokesperson Zoe Nicholson said: “People are really on board with taking steps that will help reach net zero so it’s so disappointing that this mish mash of schemes hasn’t been easy for householders to engage with.

 

“For a genuinely Green recovery from Covid, local authorities need to be given the proper funding and support to play a significant role in decarbonisation - making it a priority in both the public and private sectors."

Climate Sell Out for Australian Deal

Posted on 12th September, 2021

Government “unprincipled and short-sighted” for sacrificing climate commitments in Australia trade deal

8 September 2021

The Green Party has criticised the government after it was reported that ministers have sacrificed Paris climate agreement conditions in its trade deal with Australia. [1]

 

Green Party peer Natalie Bennett said:

“Sacrificing climate commitments to try to make up for the disastrous trade impacts of Brexit shows just how unprincipled and dangerously short-sighted this government is.

 

“The Paris agreement’s commitment to aim for below 1.5 degrees temperature rise is there to protect the future of everybody on the planet right now and future generations. This grubby trade deal is nothing more than a blatant cover-up for the mess Boris Johnson has left the UK to gain power for himself.

 

“As chair of COP26, the world expects the UK to be stringent in holding up existing climate commitments and energetic in pushing for even more. Instead, all we see is self-serving games being played, from a group of politicians who are willing to put all of our futures’ at risk for short-term and extremely limited financial and political gain.”

 

[1]       https://news.sky.com/story/exclusive-ministers-bowed-to-pressure-to-drop-key-climate-commitments-for-uk-trade-deal-with-australia-12401988

20 April 2021

"without a clear and urgent plan to reduce CO2 the targets are meaningless"

 

The Green Party has welcomed the government’s plans to significantly reduce the UK’s carbon output - particularly the decision to include aviation and shipping in domestic totals - but is clear the targets must be backed up by urgent and concrete policy if they are to be achieved.

 

Co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “We welcome the fact that the global spotlight turning towards the UK has forced the government to raise its level of climate ambition but without a clear and urgent plan to reduce CO2 the targets are meaningless.

 

Let’s not forget that this government is expert in greenwashing and that we are in election season. Recognising how important the climate is to so many of us they stand up and make grand announcements but then we just don't see the clear policy and investment that could make it a reality on the ground.

 

With a record of spending £27 billion on road building, continuing to subsidise fossil fuels and scrapping funding for retrofit programmes to keep homes warm, the reality is that Tory climate policy is going backwards. Their policies are all completely at odds with claims to ‘green ambition’.

 

“By contrast the Green Party has a clear 10-point plan [1] with policies that would achieve the new targets in the context of a green new deal, a joined-up approach covering all sectors including a green transport revolution and industrial transition beginning with green steel. This vital action would be paid for by a tax on polluters.”

 

 

ENDS

[1] https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/Communications/10_Point_Climate_Plan.pdf

31 March 2021

  • Jonathan Bartley: “The government still doesn’t seem to have grasped the meaning of the phrase ‘CLIMATE EMERGENCY’”

The COP26 climate change summit must go ahead in November, the Greens have warned amid reports that it could be delayed for a second time. [1]

 

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:

 

“The government still doesn’t seem to have grasped the meaning of the phrase ‘climate emergency’. We have already left it 30 years too late to take urgent global action and we cannot allow the vital UN COP26 to be delayed again.

 

“We appreciate how important face-to-face meetings are during negotiations, but what is absolutely essential is that we stop delaying these vital talks and start the process of ensuring global emissions are reduced as quickly as possible.

 

“We would urge the government to start preparing now to make sure it can still be held this year, even if that means a limited number of personal meetings, with good ventilation and social distancing, combined with online meetings. This would enable the conference to take place in November - already a year later than scheduled.

 

“However, it is vital that we avoid any situation that further marginalises those countries who are most at risk from the climate crisis as they are the ones on the frontline of the battle against climate change.

 

“If there must be limits on numbers then we call on the government now to set out how it will prioritise those most at risk.”

 

ENDS

Notes

1

https://news.sky.com/story/cop26-climate-change-summit-may-have-to-be-postponed-again-or-radically-changed-due-to-covid-12261820

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