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NFU flooding manifesto welcomed - but damaging practices must be reformed - Amigura.co.uk
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Fri, 27 Jan 17
NFU flooding manifesto welcomed - but damaging practices must be reformed
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/nfu-flooding-manifesto-welcomed-damaging-practices-must-be-reformed_26012017
NFU flooding manifesto welcomed - but damaging practices must be reformed

Responding to the NFU’s flooding manifesto, which was unveiled today, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said:

"The NFU is absolutely right to warn of the dangers of increased flooding driven by climate change, and right to call for better long-term flood planning by the Government.

"We agree that farmers and landowners should be paid to provide natural flood measures, like planting trees or allowing fields to flood to keep the water out of front rooms.

"But the NFU must also recognise that some current publicly subsidised land-use practices - like overgrazing on uplands and intensive grouse moor management - can actively make flooding worse. This is unacceptable, and the NFU needs to embrace change on these."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. NFU launches flooding manifesto.

 

Fri, 27 Jan 17
UK will look 'weak and desperate' if Theresa May fails to challenge Trump on climate change
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/uk-will-look-weak-desperate-if-theresa-may-fails-challenge-trump-climate
UK will look 'weak and desperate' if Theresa May fails to challenge Trump on climate change

Theresa May must challenge Donald Trump over climate change when the two leaders meet in Washington this Friday, (27 January), the heads of Friends of the Earth US and Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland said today .

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:

“It will be an appalling betrayal of the UK’s science, values and global responsibility if Theresa May fails to challenge Donald Trump’s climate-wrecking agenda.

“Trump’s war on our environment has already begun. Silence is not acceptable – it will simply legitimise and normalise the new president’s climate denial.

“Donald Trump must be warned that the US may become a global pariah if it abandons action act on climate change - the greatest threat to children alive today.

“With the world watching, this is a key opportunity for Theresa May to show bold international leadership on this crucial issue – or risk being seen as a weak and desperate underling in the ‘special relationship’ between the two nations.”

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth US said:

"Donald Trump's nationalistic policies threaten to upend international and national norms.

“A trade deal cut by the world’s biggest climate change denier, Donald Trump, further fuels this disruption. It would scuttle regulations and programs to address global warming. 

“Trump and his trade team will put on the chopping block measures, on both sides of the Atlantic, related to chemical safety, sustainable family farms, food safety, and biotechnology, among many others.”

ENDS

 

Thu, 26 Jan 17
275,000 strong campaign to save Sherwood Forest from fracking
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/275000-strong-campaign-save-sherwood-forest-from-fracking_25012017
275,000 strong campaign to save Sherwood Forest from fracking

Friar Tuck has joined the campaign to save Sherwood Forest from fracking, as a petition signed by over a quarter of a million people is handed to Environment minister, Andrea Leadsom, today (25 January).

The actor Phil Rose, who played the part of Friar Tuck in the cult classic 1980s production Robin of Sherwood, has joined local residents and environmentalists in opposing plans for shale gas exploration in Sherwood Forest.

Friar Tuck’s intervention comes as over 275,000 people have added their names to two petitions calling for Sherwood Forest to be saved from fracking. The petitions by Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees were today delivered to the Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, who is the ultimate owner of England’s public forests.

Chemicals giant INEOS, who want to frack in the UK, were revealed earlier this month to be in close negotiations with landowners to carry out seismic surveys in Sherwood Forest and other public forests in Nottinghamshire. Seismic surveys are the first stage in shale gas exploration and a first step towards fracking.

Friar Tuck – aka Mr Rose – said: 

“Our forests and green fields are the lifeblood of England. They are not there just to look pretty, but to sustain the making of oxygen which we need.

“The idea of fracking Sherwood Forest is appalling – a great historical forest could be damaged, which could be bad for tourism in this wonderful county.

“As Friar Tuck, in Robin of Sherwood, I will not stand around and do nothing whilst these fracking companies plunder our sacred forests. The Sheriff of Nottingham never beat old Tuck, and neither will they!”

Trish Forster, a local resident from Sherwood Forest, who has been a teacher in the area for thirty years, said:

“Fracking could not only increase the risk of earth tremors, but also pollute the planet and put our water supply at risk. If we poison the earth we poison ourselves. Water is life.” 

Guy Shrubsole, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“Middle England has spoken – over a quarter of a million people have now voiced their dismay at Sherwood Forest being threatened by shale gas exploration.

“With Friar Tuck now joining the cause too, it’s clear the Environment Secretary must act swiftly to protect our environment and heritage from fracking – or risk going down in history as the new Sheriff of Nottingham.”

Lorna Greenwood, campaigns manager at 38 Degrees, said:

"Huge numbers of people across the UK are coming together to protect our heritage. From people who have childhood memories playing in the forest to those who think fracking is the wrong direction to be going in, they are demanding that Sherwood Forest be left alone. It's now up to the government to decide whether they will listen to the public, or a big company."

Wed, 25 Jan 17
Food waste to be halved by 2030
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/food-waste-be-halved-2030_24012017
Food waste to be halved by 2030

countries across the Europe, including Britain, have formally pledged to try and cut their food waste by 50% by 2030 campaigners call for target to be binding

Pressure from Friends of the Earth and people across the continent, including 60,000 petition signatories, has resulted in new targets which aim to cut food waste in half by 2030.

In the UK alone last year, over 10 million tonnes of food was thrown away.  Today’s vote means that countries across the EU, including Britain, have formally pledged to try and cut their food waste by 50% by 2030.

Vitally, these targets aim to halve food waste right from primary production stage to the consumer, whereas a version proposed by the Commission last year pledged only to halve retail and consumer food waste.

Britain is set to leave Europe by 2019, by which time these changes should come into force, and put pressure on the UK government to take responsibility for food waste.

Kierra Box, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“This is a significant vote because for the first time, we have a really clear, shared plan of how food waste can be reduced and prevented. With the UK throwing out so much edible food, it’s clear that waste on this scale has to stop.

“However, if we’re serious about slashing food waste we need to stop just aiming for change, and instead make it happen. It was a lost opportunity that today’s targets aren’t binding which means countries can wriggle out of their commitments.”

Wed, 25 Jan 17
‘Air audits’ for London schools aren’t enough to solve dirty air woes
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/air-audits-london-schools-aren-t-enough-solve-dirty-air-woes_24012017
‘Air audits’ for London schools aren’t enough to solve dirty air woes

Responding to today’s (24 January) announcement of ‘air quality’ audits for 50 London schools, following ‘very high’ air pollution in the capital this week, Friends of the Earth London campaigner, Sophie Neuburg said:

“We strongly welcome any action to protect children’s growing lungs, and no-idling zones around schools are an important way to reduce children’s exposure to pollution.

“But schools shouldn’t have to take dramatic steps such as moving playgrounds and entrances to keep their pupils safe - London’s children deserve better.

“The Mayor’s policies to clean up London’s air are a good first step but they do not go far enough. Planning rules must be changed so new schools can’t be built next to air pollution hotspots. And Sadiq Khan must listen to the growing calls from health groups and campaigners and commit to ban diesel on London’s roads by 2025.”

The environmental campaign group is calling for the London Mayor to:

Commit to phase out diesel vehicles in London by 2025 – following similar commitments by Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City Expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for all vehicles across the whole of London, and bring it in as soon as possible Invest more in cycling and public transport to give people better alternatives to driving, and don’t allow road-building to add to the problem Explore solutions, adopted by other cities, such as mandatory pollution stickers for cars - so the worst can be banned on high pollution days, and making public transport free on days of high pollution.

Wed, 25 Jan 17
​Restrict traffic during London toxic air alert, before restricting outdoor play
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/restrict-traffic-during-london-toxic-air-alert-before-restricting-outdoor
Restrict traffic during London toxic air alert, before restricting outdoor play

Reacting to today’s air pollution alert in London which is so high that adults and children have been told to reduce outdoor activities, Friends of the Earth London campaigner, Sophie Neuburg said:

“It’s outrageous that children, who have done nothing to cause the problem, need to be kept indoors when air pollution is bad. Instead, the Mayor should introduce emergency traffic restrictions to reduce air pollution quickly and make our air safer.

“How is it possible that in one of the richest cities in the world children aren’t even able to play outside in case they breathe in London’s filthy air?

“We know traffic is one of the biggest problems for air pollution and diesel is the worst of all. This is why Sadiq Khan must follow the lead of Paris, Athens and Madrid and commit to banning dirty diesel from London by 2025.”

The environmental campaign group is calling for the London Mayor to:

Commit to phase out diesel vehicles in London by 2025 – following similar commitments by Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City Expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for all vehicles across the whole of London, and bring it in as soon as possible Invest more in cycling and public transport to give people better alternatives to driving, and don’t allow road-building to add to the problem Explore solutions, adopted by other cities, such as mandatory pollution stickers for cars - so the worst can be banned on high pollution days, and making public transport free on days of high pollution.

 

Sat, 21 Jan 17
Trump won’t ‘Make America Great Again’ by ditching action on climate change, warns Friends of the Earth
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/trump-won-t-make-america-great-again-ditching-action-climate-change-warns
Trump won’t ‘Make America Great Again’ by ditching action on climate change, warns Friends of the Earth

Speaking ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration later today (Friday 20 January 2017), Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) chief executive Craig Bennett said:

“The battle to prevent the world spinning towards catastrophic climate change is going to be a tough challenge – and, with a cheer-leader for the fossil fuel industry sitting in the Whitehouse, it’s going to be tougher still.

“Donald Trump won’t ‘make America great again’ if he ditches action on climate change and boosts his nation’s addiction to dirty gas, coal and oil.

“Smart business and politicians recognise the need to slash emissions, and that our future jobs and prosperity will depend on low-carbon economies.

“It’s crucial that as many of us as possible join with the millions of people, companies and organisations already switching away from coal, oil and gas and towards a cleaner, safer future.

 “The clean energy revolution is unstoppable – and anyone that gets in the way is destined to be on the wrong side of history on this issue.”

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S said:

“The majority of Americans reject Donald Trump’s extremist agenda. That’s why he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million voters. We will fight against normalizing his vision in the U.S., as well as globally. World leaders and movements must challenge Donald Trump and any leader that seeks to divide based on hate and environmental destruction.” 

Thu, 19 Jan 17
Hottest year on record a wake up call to incoming US president
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/hottest-year-record-wake-call-incoming-us-president_18012017
Hottest year on record a wake up call to incoming US presidentReacting to news that 2016 was the hottest year on record across the world, Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett said:  “This is a clear warning that world leaders, including the incoming US president, mustn’t ignore. “Climate change isn’t a hoax – and unless we move rapidly to slash emissions we risk a global catastrophe. “It’s time to ditch our reliance on gas, coal and oil and fully embrace the clean energy revolution that is already upon us.” ENDS

Thu, 19 Jan 17
Call for tougher action as London put on toxic air alert
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/call-tougher-action-london-put-toxic-air-alert_18012017
Call for tougher action as London put on toxic air alert

Reacting to news that Mayor Sadiq Khan put London on air pollution alert for at least three days, Friends of the Earth London campaigner, Sophie Neuburg said:

“It’s a scandal that millions of people, in one of the richest cities in the world, are regularly forced to breath toxic air.

“The mayor is right to alert people to the threat this pollution poses to their health, and has already taken some steps to tackle the issue, but far more needs to be done.

“Sadiq Khan must follow the lead of Paris, Athens and Madrid and commit to banning dirty diesel from London by 2025.

“Air pollution is a huge public health threat – it’s time to stop tinkering under the bonnet and give transport policy a complete overhaul.”

The environmental campaign group is calling for the London Mayor to:

•    Commit to phase out diesel vehicles in London by 2025 – following similar commitments by Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City •    Expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for all vehicles across the whole of London, and bring it in as soon as possible •    Invest more in cycling and public transport to give people better alternatives to driving, and don’t allow road-building to add to the problem •    Explore solutions, adopted by other cities, such as mandatory pollution stickers for cars - so the worst can be banned on high pollution days, and making public transport free on days of high pollution.

ENDS  

Notes to editors:

1.    In December 2016, four major world cities (Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City) pledged to remove diesel vehicles from their by 2025, at the C40 Mayors Summit.

Sat, 14 Jan 17
As storm surge threatens coast, climate risks must be held at bay
https://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/storm-surge-threatens-coast-climate-risks-must-be-held-bay_13012017
As storm surge threatens coast, climate risks must be held at bay

With the eastern coast of England braced for flooding from a storm surge, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said:

"The east coast has seen terrible flooding as a result of storm surges before, in 1953 and 2013 - but with sea levels rising due to climate change, the risk is getting worse.

"As an MP representing coastal communities in Suffolk, Floods Minister Therese Coffey should appreciate this growing threat. Ministers have been warned that letting global warming run out of control could overwhelm hundreds of kilometres of our sea defences.

"It's vital the Government publish a tough new Climate Change Risk Assessment this month that starts to prepare the UK for dangerous disruption to our climate."

Editor's Notes:

The independent Committee on Climate Change has commissioned research warning that a 1m sea level rise could make 200km of UK sea defences highly vulnerable to failure, leaving 2,100km2 of land at risk of flooding. A 2m rise in sea levels could push this up to 4,100km2 of land at risk of inundation. Blog here, full report here.  The Government's 2nd Climate Change Risk Assessment is due out 31st January 2017. This publication is a statutory obligation under the Climate Change Act.

 

 

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