Global Warming is a fact and we need to protect the environment. Whilst there are many solutions we can adopt individually there is also a need for legislation. It’s a bit like seat belts – They're for our benefit but we needed a law to make us wear them.
On issues such as the environment, safety and anti-discrimination the benefit and importance of the European Parliament become clear. Climate change cannot be adequately affected by a few individual nations working independently, rather a unilateral approach is required. The European Parliament is an integral part of that unilateral approach and as a result can influence various other issues outside of Europe such as human rights and humanitarian aid.
In Germany, I found their pro-cycling, pro-pedestrian environment coupled with excellent public transport meant that the use of my car was actually an inconvenience, although I did not have any children then.
I am against forcing or pricing people out of their cars. I cannot see how I could carry the weekly groceries home with 5 children in a bus. But we need to offer better transport alternatives, satellite working, and access to facilities, which will entice us out of our cars.
In reality our urban settings need to be altered. This can only happen if the various agencies representing planning, transport and highways work together and consult communities properly. However, proper consultation exercises rarely occur and little is done to pilot new ideas to evaluate results.
I would like to see regulation of our exorbitant wastage. There is too much unnecessary packaging and not enough choice to purchase low packaged options. I am sure with the right incentives our shops and restaurants would find all sorts of ways to cut down wastage. Reducing wastage is a commercial cost benefit too and business will realise that working off a low cost base can improve profits as much as selling at the highest price.
The same wastage is occurring in the repeated excavation of our roads and reports suggest mobile phone companies waste huge amounts of electricity by not sharing communication masts. Clearly such wastage can easily be eradicated by legislation and proper management.
The Green Party has done much to highlight the effects of global warming and presenting possible solutions. I remember 25 years ago when Green issues were treated as a joke but it appears they were right all along. If elected, I will work closely with Green Party MEPs to develop solutions that improve our lifestyles and improve the environment.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT ON 7 JUNE 2009