London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, brought green inspiration to Newham on Saturday when she spoke at the Newham Green Party public meeting and AGM held in Durning Hall, Forest Gate.
Jean, who was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights at the end of last year and is Vice President of the Green Group in the European Parliament, spoke of the Green Party's achievements across Europe and the UK but warned that with local threats to our environment, there is more work to be done to secure a healthy future for all.
Jean said: "The Green Party strives for a just and fair society and is raising serious issues that affect the future of our environment on a national scale. Local parties across London are however key to tackling problems affecting our immediate surroundings and everyday lives.
"The air quality here in London is currently breeching EU standards with nearly 70% of the 112 monitoring sites in operation across London failing to achieve all the targets set. Some individual monitoring sites exceeded the European limit of 35 breeched days per year recording a staggering 230 days. We can all make simple changes to our lives that will help improve air quality and tackle climate change, for example taking the bus instead of using the car. Local Greens are key to encouraging other local residents to do the same.
"Unfortunately proposals such as the Thames Gateway Bridge, are of grave concern and, if passed will only damage our surroundings and air quality further. With phase four of the inquiry into the Thames Gateway Bridge resuming on 21st February it is now more important than ever for local greens to express their concern over a development that will simply bring misery to East London. Together local parties have a voice and we must stop the bridge being approved."
Jean recently tabled a Priority Written Question on London's air Quality and has since received confirmation from the European Commission that it is officially failing. The Commission will consider taking infringement action against the UK Government if the situation is not resolved by September 2006.
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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.
Site data: Monitoring sites can record: Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone Levels, PM10 Particulate and Sulphur Dioxide. Each area has EU targets to meet. 112 monitoring sites are in operation across London. 75 sites (67%) did not achieve all the targets. The highest number of breeches recorded in 2005 was in Ealing with over 230 days exceeding EU pollution limits. Brent followed closely behind with 178 breeches.
European Commission: Where it is of the opinion that a breach of Community
law has occurred, the Commission may instigate infringement proceedings under
Article 226 of the EC Treaty.