e-news 24th July 2015

Renewable generators face unfair competition
Molly is asking the European Commission whether recent proposed changes to subsidies and planning laws that will affect renewable energy generators breach EU competition law. Molly has sent a written question to the Competition Commissioner, asking whether the Commission was consulted by the UK government over some of the proposed changes and whether the freedom for the government to choose its energy mix is in conflict with its obligations to meet mandatory carbon reduction targets. The letter was also signed by Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, and Jill Evans, MEP of Plaid Cymru. Molly says:

“The government’s misinformed and ideological opposition to renewable technologies is destroying thousands of potential jobs. I believe that a desire to pander to the fossil fuel and nuclear dinosaur industries is distorting the market and undermining the renewables industry. I am hoping that the Commission fully acknowledge the terrible negative impacts these policy changes will have on renewable generators and that these changes can be challenged and reversed through unfair competition rules.”
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Greece update
Molly has continued to closely observe and comment on the Greek crisis. Molly does not believe the UK should fund emergency loans to Greece, saying the bailout is pointless because it doesn’t include debt relief. She says:

“As a country we decided against joining the Euro and we shouldn’t now be required to pay for the problems arising from a bad system.More on this.

Molly continues to draw attention to the imbalance between Eurozone and non-Eurozone members and the problems the Euro has created. In an article published in the New Statesman. Molly writes:

“As we enter the process of debating our place within the continent, and deciding whether this will include our membership of the European Union, it is important to draw a clear distinction between the European Union and the European currency of the Eurozone.” 

Molly believes strongly that we should be part of the European Union, but not the single currency.

New powers for Cornwall?
Molly has poured cold water on the government’s announcement of new powers for Cornwall. She says:

“Austerity and savage budget cuts means the government is granting local authorities powers to do what they have no money to do. The failure to include planning and housing makes a mockery of the whole package. The government has also pushed this through before the council submitted its own plans which sought a much wider range of powers. That’s not genuine devolution, it’s centralised planning of local power rather than a genuine dialogue.”
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Molly around the region
During the last week Molly has visited Dorset. A packed programme of events and visits included a visit to the Gillingham headquarters and eco-factory of Neal’s Yard Remedies. The company is totally carbon neutral and has a number of accreditations including organic certification, fair trade and a strong stance against animal cruelty. On a trip to Poole she visited the headquarters of the RNLI and the Poole Housing Partnership to learn about their focus on sustainability initiatives including food growing, renewable energy and energy efficiency in social housing.
In Blandford Forum she took part in a TTIP panel debate with Simon Hoare, the newly elected Conservative MP for North Dorset. She told the 100+ audience that the US-EU trade deal was a corporate charter and a serious threat to environmental and social legislation.

She also visited AFC Bournemouth – who are still celebrating their promotion to the Football Premier League  – to learn about their ‘Green Goals’ programme which aims to improve the quality of the local environment and benefit the community including engaging children and young people in healthy lifestyle activities. Finally, she gave a presentation to the Green Business Dorset Network, which supports businesses find affordable approaches to sustainability.

Earlier in the month Molly took her major new report on the potential for renewable energy in the South West to a packed Town Hall in Glastonbury. The report, The power to Transform the South West, demonstrates how renewables alone can meet more than 100% of the region’s energy needs, with Somerset alone able to generate 152% of its needs. Full details

Gathering for fair votes
Molly is throwing her support behind an important Gathering for Voting Reform that will take place this Saturday 25th July at Old Palace Yard outside the Houses of Parliament. Molly is unable to be at the event but is a passionate and long-standing supporter of electoral reform.