27 May 2020
Elected Greens in Arun have expressed alarm at recent statements made by two local MPs which demonstrate worrying blind spots about the seriousness of the growing climate and ecological emergency.
At the recent online AGM of the local Conservative Association, Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, asserted that COVID 19 represents the most serious threat to the UK and the world in his and his colleagues’ lifetimes. His views do not reflect that CV19 is a time-limited issue, whereas climate change and ecological destruction is a chronic and worsening one.
Astonished at Nick Gibb’s views, Carol Birch, Co-ordinator of the Arun Green Party, said, “The increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events like drought, flooding, storms and rising sea levels here and overseas will increasingly have profound effects on many areas of life, every year. This year our fields and gardens already need irrigation in May. Mitigating the trends by living within our planetary limits and finding ways to adapt should be the focus of a lifetime for our elected officials”
Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, has lately been a vociferous advocate of reviving the aviation industry, calling for “COVID- safe” ways to reinstate flights to particular countries. He rightly points out that “aviation is not just another economic sector”. However for the Greens this is true because it is particularly polluting, both directly and indirectly, its fuel use is not taxed and so its true impacts are not accurately reflected.
Green Arun Councillor Isabel Thurston said, 'While I understand the importance of Gatwick Airport to this area, it is vital that we do not return to aviation as usual, but invest in new, renewable technologies. These can provide a wealth of new jobs for people in West Sussex as we move to a greener future. We have all been enjoying the clean air during the lockdown, and it would be a tragic wasted opportunity were our elected leaders not to build on that positive and healthy outcome.”