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30th August 2002
Following the controvesy of the Ilisu Dam project, the Export Credit Guarantee Department has asked for comments on the format and content of its Impact Questionnaire. Companies applying for export cover have had to complete the questionnaire since it was introduced in January 2001. It enables ECGD to identify the potential impacts that might be caused by UK exports and related projects in mainly developing countries.
Read Press Release
Read Jean's response to the consultation
Read more on the Ilisu Dam campaign
Link to the ECGD website
Amina Lawal was condemned to death by stoning on March 22, 2002 for conceiving a child outside of marriage. Ms. Lawal, aged 30, was condemned to death by stoning for adultery by a Shari'ah court at Bakori in Katsina State. A Shari'ah court of appeal decided to uphold this sentence on 19 August 2002. Ms. Lawal´s lawyer has now filed another appeal at the Upper Shari'ah court of appeal in Katsina.
Jean has written to the Nigerian Ambassador and to the Governor of Katsina State expressing concern about the lack of transparency and the swiftness with which the trial has been conducted.
Read about the campaign
Political interference with National Lottery funding threatens the future of all campaigning organisations and charities and will cause irreversible damage to the reputation of the fund and the lottery itself, Green MEPs Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas said today.
Read Press release
Read about the Lotus 2000 project
MASSIVE expansion plans for Heathrow and Stansted Airports were unveiled to MPs yesterday by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling. Stansted Airport could be the site of three new runways, destroying 200 homes, 1200 hectares of high grade agricultural land, three scheduled ancient monuments and 64 Grade II listed buildings. A third runway is also being proposed at Heathrow, which will destroy 260 homes, 220 hectares of green belt land, a church, a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument and eight Grade II listed buildings.
Jean Lambert MEP says, "Even if these new schemes are actually built the government will never be able to meet projected demand without covering the entire country in tarmac. Unless action is taken to make airlines pay the full costs of their activities UK passenger numbers are projected to reach 400m a year by 2020 - requiring the equivalent of another four airports the size of Heathrow.
to Press release 24th July
Link to Press release 16th July
Link to Jean Lambert's aviation consultation page
Link to DfT consultation
the Treaty - Towards a Sustainable Europe"
Co-hosted by Green/EFA Group MEPs Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) and Jean Lambert (Green Party England & Wales)
The Convention on the Future of Europe is currently meeting to discuss what we want the EU to develop into; what issues should be dealt with on a Europe-wide level, by whom and how? To contribute to the debate this one-day seminar provided a platform for a wide range of NGOs, Trade Unions, charities and other aspects of civil society from the fields of social policy, employment and the environment to express their views.
Read the conference report
Read Jean Lambert's briefing on the Convention
BRITAIN'S nuclear power industry is effectively bankrupt, according to report published at Westminster by Green Euro MPs. The report - 'Examination of BNFL Reports and Accounts' - commissioned by Irish MEP Nuala Ahern and written by nuclear analyst Mike Sadnicki, claims the taxpayer faces a clean-up bill of more than £40bn to meet a shortfall in money earmarked for decommissioning outdated nuclear reactors. Published just two days after BNFL's Annual Report and Accounts revealed a $2bn loss last year, the Sadnicki report makes sobering reading for the industry.
The report is published less than two weeks after a UK Government White Paper revealed that Britain's nuclear waste liabilities are £48 billion and rising (including £40.5bn for BNFL alone), and that the taxpayer will have to meet most of the cost of nuclear clean up.
Download report here
Jean Lambert, Green Euro MP for London and Walthamstow resident, has written to the Leader of Waltham Forest Council today asking what action the Council are proposing to take to protect the long-term viability of the Higham Hill Common Allotments following the refusal of the Council to put in place proper arrangements guaranteeing adequate access for allotment holders, some of whom are disabled.
GMOs traceability and labelling vote: A victory for consumers!
The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has been working on the Commission proposals on 'GMOs: traceability and labelling' and 'Food safety: genetically modified food and feed'. These proposals were voted on by the European Parliament today.
As Greens, we feel very strongly that GM foods should be fully and comprehensively labelled. Ideally, we would like a 0% labelling threshold for the accidental presence of unauthorised GM materials in both food products and animal feed. However, as this is not scientifically possible at present, the Greens have tabled amendments pushing for a 'lowest achievable threshold' for GM materials, to be reviewed downwards as tracing methods progress. This should replace the Commission's proposed 1% labelling threshold which is unacceptably high. Another point of contention is whether animal products derived from GMO-fed animals should be labelled, as well as food and feed produced with the aid of a GMO. The Greens have been pushing for these products, too, to go through a full authorisation procedure before they go on sale and to be fully labelled.
Press release on the vote
Download the Green Group briefing on the GMOs vote
Two students have just got back from visiting the European Parliament in Brussels for a four-day fact-finding visit organised by the Institute for Citizenship and hosted by Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London.
Jean will join the Mayors of Ealing and Bielany in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday July 5, 2002 to witness the final signature on a town twinning declaration between the two boroughs.
Jean joined Greens Against Globalisation (GAG) in their picket in protest at the negotiations on the World Trade Organisation's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). She warned that the agreement would lead to a takeover of public services by the private sector and prevent social and environmental regulation by governments.
The protest is part of an international week of action against the GATS that also includes demonstrations in Brussels and Geneva to mark an important point in the GATS negotiations, the deadline for the receipt of requests for GATS liberalisation on 30 June.
Jean presented a letter to Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, calling for a moratorium on GATS negotiations and a legally binding amendment to GATS enshrining governments' right to regulate.
Read Jean Lambert's briefing on GATS
GREEN MEPs Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas have launched a 'half-term' report to voters. Their annual report rejects the presidential politics of spin and gives voters a chance to see how supporting the Greens at the European Parliament has made a difference.
"This report sets us apart from the spin doctoring approach of other parties. We want to tell voters exactly what we're doing, how we're doing it and why, to show how we work at the European level to ensure the Green voice is heard in the corridors of power in Brussels and Strasbourg."
Annual report to download
Jean spoke to thousands of demonstrators during a national demonstration against attacks on asylum seekers. "Proposals to crackdown on asylum seekers show the UK Government is increasingly isolated on immigration issues", Jean said. Tony Blair's call for asylum seekers to be offered education and health services only at segregated reception centres scattered around the UK amounts to apartheid in public services and has attracted widespread opposition.
The demonstration was organised by a coalition of asylum and refugee organisations to mark Refugee Week.
Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers: www.defend-asylum.org
National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns: www.ncadc.org.uk
EUROPEAN heads of state meeting in Seville must resist UK Government proposals to punish developing nations for failing to re-admit rejected asylum seekers, says Jean.
"Tony Blair seems to have abandoned the idea of linking development aid to border controls after it was described as 'silly' by members of his own Government. But plans to make trade agreements conditional on poor nations' asylum records will have the same effect: punishing the poor and forcing ever greater numbers of people to leave their homes in search of life's necessities." Leaders at the Seville summit should reject tighter controls and a toughening of 'Fortress Europe' in favour of a commitment to meeting international obligations, addressing the push factors' that force migrants to flee their homes and opening new routes of legal entry to meet skills and labour shortages, says the Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament.
Jean held a press breakfast to launch her new report on "Refugees and the Environment: the Forgotten Element of Sustainability". The report highlights the high level of migration resulting from deteriorating environmental conditions around the world, and points out that many so-called 'economic migrants' are in fact environmental refugees.
The report calls on richer countries to recognise the disproportionate responsibility they bear for many of these problems due to trade and investment policies, production of climate change gases and so on. They have a duty to address these problems and deal with the many refugees forced to move as a result, rather than announcing ever harsher measures to deal with 'illegal immigration' as is currently happening.
Prior to this the European Parliament has voted on a Resolution, giving their own recommendations and comments on the proposed agenda of the Summit and desired outcomes.
Jean spoke on behalf of the Group in the Parliament's discussion of the Resolution, stressing the importance of prioritizing sustainable development over economic growth, and understanding the links between sustainable development and immigration.
Read her speech
Read Jean's speech
Background: It was agreed in 1999 that the fight against social exclusion should be one of the EU's social policy goals. The Lisbon Summit of 2000 agreed to make a clear impact with regard to the eradiction of poverty by 2020. It also agreed that co-operation in this field should be based on the “open method of co-ordination”. The key elements in the open method of co-ordination for social inclusion are:
National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion – the first two yearly plans were adopted by the Member States in June 2001 Joint Reports on Social Inclusion (Oct-Dec. 2001) and regular monitoring, evaluation and peer review.
Common Indicators to provide a means of monitoring progress and comparing best practice
Community Action Programme to encourage co-operation between Member States to combat social exclusion
Poverty and social exclusion still remain at high levels. If we take 60% of the national median income as the threshold below which persons are deemed to be a risk from poverty, some 18% of the population of the European Union were living in households with an income below this threshold in 1997. This percentage is much the same as in 1995, a situation exacerbated by the fact that this threshold varies between EUR 12 060 in Luxembourg and EUR 2 870 in Portugal. This means that over 60 million persons are living in poverty in Europe.
Jean spoke in the plenary session on behalf of the Green/EFA Group. She told the Parliament that the Group has tabled amendments requesting Council to include in its remit for the Johannesburg sustainable summit the proposal for the negotiation of a legally binding international framework on corporate accountability and liability.
Read Jean's speech
Jean travelled to Slovakia as part of an international delegation this week. Jean was invited as Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament to learn more about the problems facing the Roma people. The delegation invited the Slovakian government to discuss the specific problems of the Roma people, particularly in the run up to Slovakia being formally permitted to join the European Union.
Jean Lambert MEP said,"One
of my priorities as a Green member of the world's only international Parliament
is to fight intolerance and discrimination wherever this exists. In drawing attention
to the problems facing the Roma before Slovakia is allowed to join the European
Union, I hope that our delegation can bring pressure to bear on the Slovakia government
to improve its record in this area."
Jean's speech, addressed to the local practitioners and businesses at the conference, outlines the role of sustainability in the future of Europe. She asks the question "is the EU of the future to be truly committed to sustainability or do we want to have that alongside "business-as usual", as is the current situation?"
Read the speech
- on the need to re-examine EU policies which might contribute to problems in countries of origin which force people to migrate.
- on the lack of effective response by Indian authorities to the communal violence there.
Jean speaks with environmentalist in the Canaries.
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