New road-building plans ride roughshod over the green economy
Last week's spending round was another nail
in the coffin of "the greenest government ever". Treasury minister Danny
Alexander's speech was a stream of plans and proposals to carve up the
countryside, ratchet up road emissions and slash funding for green transport.
So much for a green economy.
We've heard from an inside source that Angela Merkel the German Chancellor called Prime Minister David Cameron last night in a bid to block a critical law to make cleaner European cars. Ministers were supposed to agree the law today.
Another day another attempt to kill a clean car law in its tracks.
Or so it seems. Because only the other week I wrote about the German government’s last ditch attempt to sabotage a law that will cut CO2 emissions from cars and provide 400,000 new jobs by 2030 across Europe. Now they're back with round two. No prizes for guessing that they’ve gone for stamina over originality.
German environment minister Peter Altmaier is keen to keep gas guzzlers on the road
It was 6.30am in Luxembourg and we were all keen to start. We got into our vans ready to launch our final action for cleaner cars in Europe. But this morning it was different. Instead of a handful of national activists calling on a car company to clean up its act, we went big.
There were thirty of us from across Europe who came together for the whole day to unveil a banner, placards and hand out flyers telling European governments to stand up to the bullying of Germany and its environment minister Peter Altmaier.
Of all the shoulders to cry on, it might seem strange to pick the German Chancellor’s. But that’s what the German car association (VDA) did this week when its president Matthias Wissman wrote to her to moan that long-term targets for cleaner cars could strangle the car industry. He asked her to take a strong position against the regulations which are currently being debated in Brussels.
Com'on, Norman. Don't block the changes we urgently need.
When the alarm rang at 4.45am this morning, I was already
awake. Nobody overslept or moaned about feeling tired. And after a quick
pre-action breakfast we piled into the minibus, loaded with climbing equipment,
a huge banner and our petition printed with the names of 20,000 UK campaign
supporters. We were on route to Lewes, the constituency of UK Transport
Minister, Norman Baker, who this Wednesday will represent the UK in a
make-or-break moment for the future of pollution from cars.