First things first


Saturday, 24 April 2010

Hustings Meeting and Environment Law


There will be a large parliamentary 'hustings' meeting for people from Greenwich and Blackheath, from 7.30 to 9.30pm on Monday 26th April, in the Blackheath Halls (Lee Road, Blackheath end).

Apart from influencing candidates, this is great opportunity to raise awareness locally of the true extent of the environmental crisis, so do try to be there early if you can, talk to people and invite them to our next public meeting. It will be on May 19th at 7.30pm in Mycenae House, and will be discussing setting limits to and starting to voluntarily reduce the UK human population and consumption.

We have also been asked to start lists of people interested in forming neighbouring Transition Towns, such as in Blackheath Village and Lee. Anyone interested in being part of an initiating group for a neighbouring Transition Town can email us on transitionwestcombe@googlemail.blogspot, and we will help in getting the first meeting to happen.

These are the laws we need our national government to adopt:
The U.K. National Planning Framework needs to embody the aims of the Climate Change Act, the EU Biodiversity Directive and the Marine Act, which are all already UK law.

The U.K. should adopt the new United Nations Resolution of the Rights of Mother Earth

The U.K. should back the creation of a new crime of 'Ecocide' to be enforced by the United Nations International Criminal Court. 'Ecocide' is the crime of destroying the Planet’s natural ecosystems.

Here is a report about Debbie Tripley and Polly Higgins, the lawyers who are fighting for proper legal protection of the environment:

Haldane Society Meeting 22nd April 2010 College of Law, London

Debbie Tripley and Polly Higgins

These two inspirational British environmental lawyers are working on the environmental problems from the bottom up and from the top down.

Debbie Tripley is working on environmental problems bottom-up through the local planning system in the UK. She is Chief Executive of the Environmental Law Foundation, which advises low income individuals and groups who are fighting planning decisions which allow environmentally damaging development. They are working to have the objectives of the UK Climate Change Act (UCC), the UK Marine Act and the EU Biodiversity Directive made part of the National Planning Framework. It is the CCA which has a UK commitment to cutting CO2 to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. She thinks our environmental law needs to be more radical. The phrase ‘sustainable development’ is actually a curse because in practice economic interest always outweighs environmental and social interest. Cost should not be a barrier to justice as it is at present, the community should be properly consulted at an early stage, and the legal principle of a duty of care needs to be extended to the environment.

Polly Higgins is working on the problems top-down by coming up with globally effective legal mechanisms to control big business. She says that the present environmental laws are not fit for purpose. The latest UN figures show that just on its own world deforestation by business amounted to a staggering $2.8 trillion in 2008 and to a sickening $4 trillion in 2009. She was involved in the recently adopted United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth which governments can sign up to. She has now proposed a new crime of Ecocide to be enforced by the UN’s International Criminal Court (ICC). Ecocide would be the crime of destroying any part of the Planet’s natural ecosystems, and would impose a duty of care on individual directors of companies. She compares the insane and evil greed behind destruction of the planet’s ecosystems with the Slave Trade. The Slave Trade was stopped almost overnight by a new law, and within a year all the 300 companies involved in the Slave Trade had changed to other ways of making money, helped by subsidies from government. A good law has this power to shift behaviour and attitudes overnight. But time is now very short.

No comments: