Londons Green MEP, Jean Lambert, today condemned the decision to grant Novera Energy planning permission to build the Capitals first Gasification plant in Rainham, London Borough of Havering.
Jean, who submitted a formal objection against the plant, officially expressed her position, warning that such a plant would undermine recycling efforts, when she spoke at the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) Planning Committee meeting in Stratford Town Hall last night.
Speaking after the meeting Jean said; This decision goes against Londons commitment to a sustainable waste strategy. With a feedstock demand of at least 55% paper and 23% plastics, the plant will have to find an estimated 500,00 tonnes of waste paper per year, inevitably impacting on the progress we have made in meeting recycling targets. It also contradicts the waste hierarchy, adopted by the Mayor, the UK Government and the EU, placing reduction and recycling ahead of energy from waste and incineration.
Londoners are now making better efforts to recycle and research shows that current rates save 10 - 15million tonnes of CO2 per year compared to putting the material in landfill and incinerators. This saving equates to taking 3.5million cars off the road but the use of a gasification plant will simply cancel out these positive efforts.
Jean continued by questioning why the zero waste policy, agreed for the Olympics, had not been carried across the whole of East London and the Thames Gateway; The Thames Gateway is the biggest regeneration project in Europe and it is essential that it develops in a truly sustainable way to lay the foundations for a green future and a green Olympics. A gasification plant isnt part of that future and we will continue to fight this decision until it is overturned.
With over 650 letters of objection against the plant being sent to the TGDC the final decision will now be taken to the Mayor of London.
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.
Novera Energy Gasification Plant: Novera Energy claim that a gasification plant would be a sustainable solution for London's waste, even though two previous proposals have been turned down, but to work efficiently the plant would need a constant supply of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) that must include a significant amount of plastic and paper. Novera's own non-technical summary of its environmental statement acknowledges that the SRF feedstock 'will largely be made up of paper, textiles, wood and plastic' which Jean fears will ultimately mean less material being recycled.