Chwarae Teg Husting 10th April 2014 - My opening speech

I would like to start with the words of a mighty woman, Shulamith Firestone:

“The sexual class system is the model for all other systems of repression. Until we resist this, eliminate this, we will never truly succeed in eliminating any of the other forms of repression.

If women are oppressed by men, men, in succumbing to all the pressures put upon them from an early age to dominate, lose the chance to be freely themselves”

Women have been placed right on the front line of austerity. Since the recession, women’s progress in almost every sphere – from pay to prospects - has gone into reverse. We hear of recovery, but no woman I have met has noticed it.

The needs of women are not the same as men. Women experience many different calls upon their bodies and their family life. Work-life balance should be understood as dynamic and susceptible to change over the working lives of women. From childbearing to taking care of our old ones, the best approach for most is a holistic one.

Flexicurity, might be one of these approaches, enabling workers to have both flexibility and security. Another option would be a 6-hour working day – because for men and women, it is not making money which counts – it is having enough money to live a satisfying and happy life, and enough security to not have to worry.

But the Citizen’s Income is the very best way of dealing with this. It’s obviously Green Policy. A Citizen’s Income would totally remove insecurity, give us all much better choices, and remove the problems and stigma surrounding means testing and welfare dependency. It would also cost the government less! A Citizen’s Income wouldn’t be much, but it would be enough to keep you off the breadline. You would be free!

Women outdo men in university qualifications, yet less than 7% of these talented, skilled and well trained people are in our boardrooms (the other 9% are non execs) Greens are happy to support quotas for director level women – 40% until 2020 – because gender balance in boardrooms will bring us better run companies.

Look at the similarities between the women’s rights, and environmental rights movements. Both are about challenging existing power structures and questioning the assumptions of existing institutions. These barriers are blocking forward movement and we must break them down if we are to move forward to a more hopeful future.

Women are still the underclass, and that’s just not good enough. Only 23% of UK MP’s are women. That is subnormal. In Europe it is 33%, not normal. More than 50% of the population are women. We need a new normal where we are properly, equally and evenly represented.

Women have the power, and we can use stubbornly if we choose. For example – non co-operation, or making moral decisions in purchasing (as we did with tinned tuna fish to stop the baby seal culls in the 70’s), or more recently when the women of Iceland took over the financial collapse and fixed it.

In 1975 Iceland also achieved one of the first true equality legislations in the world. Known as the “Women’s Day Off ”, this was more than a sex strike: women stayed home from work to protest discriminatory wages. Of course they won!

That is why I am committed to Women’s Rights, Feminism and the Liberation of Women, because I know we have the power to make change. And I believe we have to organise that power because true equality is exactly what is needed for a more thoughtful, balanced world.

Greens are the only party seriously concerned about climate change. And we are the only party that rejects free-market economics and austerity. The free market has not solved any of our problems – and has created many, and as for this ideological austerity, we know very well that the poorest in society - too often the women - are paying dearly to line the pockets of the already rich.

I can happily say that most Green men (as well as women) are feminists and we are proud that the Green Party makes sure its representation is shared equally between the genders. Indeed, our National leader and Wales Leader are both women.

All of us here want to see a lifestyle which enhances the prospects for all who come after us. We want to see a rapid reduction in domestic violence, equal pay for our daughters and sons: we want to leave our world better than we found it, and make sure the next generation has at least the same chances as we have.

So here’s to every one of us being a force for beauty, innovation, generosity and equality. Here’s to moving forward to a more hopeful future, and opening hearts and minds to ways of living that will earn the gratitude of our great, great,  great grandchildren.

So embrace your fierceness, your womanhood; be authentic and remember this: A women is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water!

Letter to Health Minister re the availability of CBD to cancer sufferers

Mark Drakeford. AM

Minister for Health and Social Care

Wales Assembly Government

Dear Mark,

It has recently been drawn to my attention that there are many cancer sufferers in Wales who, after having had surgery, chemotherapy, and found that recovery is not possible, have discovered the remarkable benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil – an extraction from the cannabis plant.

 CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. There are many studies – most of them quite recent – showing that CBD can be of enormous help to cancer sufferers. Some go as far as to say that CBD destroys cancer cells. It is said that cancer will be one of the biggest burdens on the NHS budget in years to come, yet it appears that expensive drug therapy is not necessarily the right course of treatment because naturally occurring cannabidiols are very effective.

 In Wales, I know there are sufferers who distil the CBD oil at home. Apparently it is quite simple. However, under the current arrangement, they are criminalised. I understand that Policing and Law are not devolved issues, but Health certainly is. I therefore write to ask for your opinion on the following:

1. A UK company, GW Pharmaceuticals is currently marketing Savitex, made from extracts from the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately this is not prescribed for cancer sufferers. However, this leads one to believe that it is now accepted that cannabis is not harmful to human health, and cannot be considered in the say way as either alcohol or opiates.

 2. To date sufferers can only obtain the raw material from a drug dealer. Is it acceptable that patients and their families should be needlessly exposed to an unregulated, criminal-controlled economy?

3. There is a huge body of work proving that CBD is a most effective form of cancer treatment. I have seen 37 of such papers, yet so far no action has been taken to make this extract lawfully available, and we very much hope that this is not because the Wales Government intends this naturally occurring ingredient to be wholly the intellectual property of pharmaceutical corporations, whose main objective is to maximise profits.

4. Is there a mechanism whereby cancer sufferers in Wales can urgently achieve safe access to this safe medicine?

CBD is freely available via the internet through (for example) Amazon.com (who will not ship this item to the UK), but  Amazon.co.uk does not stock it. There seems to be an anomaly in the law and a cruel injustice is being visited upon cancer sufferers who for no fault of their own just happen to live in the UK. Your opinion on freeing up the availability of this oil would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks for your attention to this distressing matter.

Regards,

Pippa

Pippa Bartolotti

Arweinydd Plaid Werdd Cymru

07981 717757 

 Leader, Wales Green Party

yourgreenwales:

Wales Green Party election leaflet. Don’t forget to check out http://YourGreenWales.com for more info.

Monetary Reform – Pippa Bartolotti, 26th September 2013

Monetary Reform – Pippa Bartolotti, 26th September 2013

 

Thank you Justin and Ian for inviting me to speak at this event – an event with the potential to reshape how we think about money, to reshape how money is created, and an event which will give you – the people and the power – the tools for change.

 

National debt is now 80 per cent of GDP (£1.2 trillion) – but that’s the UK, not Wales. The UK, in their failed attempt to decrease this monstrous debt has tried austerity, and failed. Could this be because austerity was only for the already poor, and the increasingly poorer ordinary citizen?

 

None of us need reminding that it was not the ordinary citizen who caused this debt. It was the somewhat extra ordinary citizens – the bankers. It’s difficult to imagine what austerity must feel like when your salary is over £1 million a year and your bonus even bigger.

Wales, just like the other UK regions, finds itself on the wrong side of the divide which has put the accumulation of money ahead of the creation of sustainable work.

Monetary and fiscal policy is set in London. What would it be like if Wales had control over it’s own destiny?

Taking the economy as a whole, what one person spends, is what another earns, so if you cut your spending, someone else has to earn less. Austerity is all about cutting spending….and therefore earning less.

Wales is the poorest economic region in the UK.  The way things are worked out right now, we are never going to catch up. In fact West Wales is even poorer than Romania. I find this unacceptable.

Economic growth of the old model will not help us in Wales. But there are some good pointers for what we need to do here. For example Wales still retains a higher manufacturing output than the UK average. In fact Wales is actually running a surplus on its balance of trade of about £5.1 billion (with Scotland at £3.6 billion), and this is almost entirely due to manufacturing and heavy export industries. In many ways we are supporting the catastrophic blunders of the London based financial sector. In other words, Wales is making a profit which is sucked up by London.

The really important things that we need to be worrying about now, are the terrible toll industrialization has taken on the environment, the urgent need for the construction construction of clean energy for both our security and our health, and the growing population which will put even more pressures on our resources. These things are urgent, but I can tell you for sure that none of them will be addressed until we change our banking system. Why? Because the banking system is geared to profit, and only profit. Imagine a banking system which was biased towards the greater good. Maybe you can’t. But it is possible.

 

People can’t be worrying about climate change when they are worrying about the rent, or where the next meal will come from. The social dimension to a progressive and self-sufficient Wales is vital. That is why we must pay people fairly, and enable everyone to live free from benefits dependency. A Citizens Income will do exactly this, together with Land Value Tax and of course Monetary Reform - it’s no surprise to say all these things are Green Party Policy.

 

The detail of money, credit and debt will be coming later on this evening from our other very well informed speakers. So I would just like to set the scene of where we are now, and how the Greens stand on Monetary Reform.

 

Monetary Reform has long been Green Party Policy, and just two weeks ago, at conference, we made history and called for an end to the private creation of money by banks. This means that the Green Party of England and Wales has collectively decided to place this power with a democratically accountable National Monetary Authority at the Bank of England.

 

Greens are also calling for full reserve banking – which means that banks can only lend out what they actually have in hard cash, instead of this seemingly eternal spiral of unsustainable debt creation. Some might think our policies are radical, but they don’t seem very radical to me, just sensible – like Citizens Income, Land Value Tax and of course the decarbonisation of the entire economy as we all too slowly move to a post carbon world.

 

Now, you may have thought money was the notes and coins in your pocket created by the Bank of England. But you’d be wrong. 97% of money is just computer digits.

 

And how did we come to that? Well, the answer is lending, or to put it another way, debt. I borrow £10 quid from you. You charge me interest, and the interest - as yet unpaid – becomes a set of computer digits created out of thin air, and rather recklessly defined as money. Bonkers.

 

So what do we really want from a banking system? A safe place to keep your money is probably top of the list.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the current system is not safe at all. When you put money in the bank they can use it any way they like – investing in arms dealing (perpetuating war), gambling on food prices (causing terrible shortages and price hikes for the already malnourished) and speculating on property markets (causing house price to keep on rising beyond the realistic reach of ordinary people). In essence, when you give the bank your hard earned cash, it becomes theirs, and ethical banks are few and far between.

 

In a sensible world, money would be created by trade, by business, by enterprise. It would be productive. It would help to make stuff we all need. But it doesn’t. Deregulation of the financial sector has led to ever more speculation, leading to the ever more destructive cycles of boom and bust. A few people get very rich on this. The rest of us just cough up when they get it wrong.

 

Money creation has, in fact, become privatised. Perversely debt has become socialised. By that I mean that the banks make the profit, the bankers get the bonuses, and you and I get to pay for their mistakes through something called austerity which is the code word for low wages, dirty energy, unemployment, zero hours contracts and the bedroom tax.

 

And there isn’t even a thin veneer of democracy around money supply. Decisions about our money supply are taken by just a few dozen bankers at the biggest banks. People who have the most to gain by their own decisions. How can that be right?

 

The Greens formally recognise that without ending the debt based banking system we can never move away from an economic system that has inequality and unsustainable growth built into it. That is why we wholeheartedly support Positive Money and Arian Cymru in their quest for a fair banking system, accountable to the people it should serve.

 

So, if you are committed, like us, to the values of environmental and social justice, and seriously want to end this debt-based money system, think very carefully about what has been presented to you today. Join the campaign, because this needs to build into a massive movement if we are going to push any government into change. And we have to push hard, because they are not going to do it by themselves. It will take a lot of work, a lot of commitment, but it can be done, and what better place to start than right now.

 

Diolch

People’s Assembly RCT 18.09.2013 – Pippa Bartolotti

Thank you so much for inviting me here to speak this evening. We have much in common, and in the weeks and months to come, I hope we will find we have even more in common.

Corporate interests have systematically exploited, and even created, crises such as war, economic shocks, and climate change, and governments have been quick to ram through policies which support a small elite – often the elite to which they are personally related. This is why we need to stick together.

When money is God, ethics and morality become unaffordable.

For example: zero hours contracts are the response to economic downturn. Pension raids are the response to failing business models; squeezed council budgets are the response to the bankers’ recklessness; fracking seems to be the Tory/Libdem response to climate change. It needn’t be like this, and that is why we all need to stick together.

Too many people we meet have known little more than privatization, deregulation and cutbacks. It is hard for them to consider that there is another, fairer way. But it’s simply not enough for us to reject the hypocrisy of more privatization, more profit, more pillage. We must get together, stay together, act together.

Politics is not just a battle for political seats, but a battle of whether People or corporates effectively run our country. Politics has sadly become just another profiteering industry, a sort of Alice in Wongaland, and we, together must change this.

Greens have made Brighton the first Living Wage city, bringing the wages of the worst paid workers up to a decent living standard. Greens in Brighton have taken the hard decisions and made Brighton the first one planet city – whilst other councils seem to think we can survive on 3, 4 or 5 planets - and they have had enormous support from their public sector partners including the NHS, the police and the voluntary sector.  Despite the huge Westminster-imposed budget cuts of around 40% over four years, Brighton Greens have protected many of the poorest from the brunt of the Coalition’s welfare changes – and this in the face of hostile opportunistic shenanigans by the Labour members who joined forces with the Tories to try and defeat the Green budget. Brighton Greens were the first council to say that not one person would be forced to leave their home because of the insidious Bedroom Tax. We could do with a few more Green Councils!

Our Green MP has fought consistently and tirelessly to maintain the rights of ordinary people in the face of increasing support for austerity by Labour and LibDems. In fact she was awarded the MP of the Year by the Patchwork Foundation in recognition of her work to represent deprived and minority communities in the city and across the country.

It was Caroline Lucas who forced the purveyors of torture equipment out of the London Arms Fair, it is Caroline who is pressing for the UK to ratify the Convention on preventing violence against women, which affect 1M women in the UK every year. It is this Green MP who has spoken so strongly against privatisation of the Royal Mail and the NHS, and it is she who has brought a private Members Bill to bring railways into public ownership. I need not remind you about Caroline’s ability to stand up for her beliefs – even if it does mean going to jail. We could do with a few more Green MP’s.

Then there is the European dimension, where 48 Green MEP’s are pressing hard against the vested interests of the disgusting multinational chemical corporations – even in the face of personal legal attacks. Of course we stand for animal welfare, for a clean pollution free environment, for safe energy, for a Robin Hood Tax and Monetary Reform, and for a thousand other things all decent-minded people also stand for – and we really could do with a few more Green MEP’s

When money is God, ethics and morality become unaffordable. This, is what we are up against.

 ‘Climate change is’, in the words of Naomi Klein, “the most powerful weapon we have in the fight for equality and justice.” But I maintain the opposite is true. Equality and justice are the most powerful weapons we have in the fight against climate change. This is why the Greens are part of the People’s Assembly.

We urgently need strong public services and infrastructure, investment in green technologies, and healthy communities to assert the interests of the many and avoid the worst of the coming social and economic storms.

The Greens are proud to be part of the People’s Assembly. Much change needs to happen in a very short time, and none of us can do it alone. We need each other and we need to act with urgency. The People’s Assembly simply must do what the right think we can’t. We must stick together, stay together, and show this vampire government what solidarity really means.

It’s time to be ambitious and courageous. Losing the argument is not an option. We simply must reframe the issues and force the ‘yes’s’.

 Yes to our one voice against austerity

 Yes to strong public services

 Yes to a future we can all be proud of !

Diolch yn fawr

 

Waste is not for Burning

The latest document on Energy from Waste from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) puts the entire subject of large incinerators in doubt. The document backs up the concerns of campaigners who have been worried that burning is not the best way of dealing with waste.

Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party Leader said, “Defra, like the Greens, are concerned that large burners, like the one planned in Cardiff, will depress recycling. What we need is more flexibility. Metal, plastic and paper are readily recyclable, and there are good markets for them. Food waste is easily compostable, and provides nourishment for the land from which it originally came.

 “As we learn to prevent waste, and start to value materials by reusing and recycling increasing amounts of what used to be called rubbish, large incinerators will become redundant. What concerns me is not only the outrageous amount of public money which will go into keeping these big burners going over their 30 years lifespan ( £1.1 billion for the Viridor plant in Cardiff), but also the very real threat of sending perfectly good recyclable materials for burning.”

The report says: In an ideal world all waste would be prevented.… Where waste does exist it is usually best to reuse it if possible, and if not, to recycle it. What can’t be recycled, the residual waste, could either go to energy recovery or as a last resort, landfill.” (Defra, 2013 p.2)

Waste infrastructure has a long lifetime and care needs to be taken at the start to ensure systems can adapt to potential long term change and drive waste up the hierarchy, not constrain it. Flexibility of the overall approach to future change should therefore be another key consideration in any proposal.” (Defra, 2013 p.3)

Pippa Bartolotti added “Campaigners have long been pointing out the discrepancy between increasing recycling rates and the building of mass burn incinerators. We already have too many large incinerators in the planning system. Building yet another inflexible mass burner makes a mockery of the time and effort diligent householders have been putting into doorstep recycling.”

In 2012, Wales recycled an average of 54%, with some areas up to 70%.

In 2010 Austria achieved 70% recycling (including composting); Germany achieved 62% recycling  and Belgium achieved 62% recycling.

Defra (2013) Energy from waste:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181831/pb13892-energy-from-waste.pdf.pdf,

People’s Assembly, Cardiff June 15th 2013 – Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party

Sometimes, when we wish to protect those we love, and those who are less well off, we cling to old and outdated ideas.

 

One of these is the idea that only economic growth will save us all. But it is impossible to have infinite growth in a finite world.

 

The stresses and strains on the natural world are now becoming clear – alarming losses of our natural pollinators such as bees (which fertilize almost 90% of everything we eat) increases in the price of food, and greenhouse gas emissions – particularly CO2 – which has now reached levels not seen since the dawn of humanity.

 

In the face of melting sea ice, salination of river deltas and rising global temperatures, we have to question those old paradigms and open a new debate.

 

In our need to invest in the future, we must not be wedded to continual resource consumption, because sharing out the deckchairs on the Titanic more fairly will not stop the ship from sinking. You cannot rebuild biodiversity with economic growth.

 

Those of us concerned with social justice must look for ways of sharing a shrinking cake more fairly, and ensure that the poor are protected the most from the consequences.

 

We need to weaken the link between money and material consumption. We need to think less about the acquisition of more stuff, and more about properly valuing and rewarding a person’s time and skills. Money counts for little when there isn’t enough food around.

 

Austerity hasn’t worked, that is clear right now. The deficit is growing, less hours are being worked for less money, the welfare bill is rising. The scandal of zero hours contracts is growing. The less well of are being asked to pay more and more to line the pockets of the already wealthy.

 

There is a way out of this. The Citizens Income.

 

 

We cannot expect people stuck in the poverty trap to think of biodiversity as a priority. Creating a fairer society and leaving the planet in good shape for the next generation go hand-in-hand.

 

The Citizens income is an unconditional payment made to each individual as a right of citizenship – like a tax credit paid to everyone whether they’re working or not.

 

A Citizens Income would not leave people struggling on benefits in an unfair world. A Citizens Income would allow people to work part time, it would give jobseekers time to find the right job for their skills and locality, it would make sure that every man and woman would be better off taking paid work. Above all, a Citizens Income would be fair, and it wouldn’t cost one extra penny.

 

I meet many Labour activists on my travels. They are good people and many are very clued up on the environment. Yet, I ask myself, why do they pretend Ed Milliband is speaking for them? The two-Edded monster of the Labour leadership is now just a paler shade of Tory. No new ideas, nothing to promote fairness and equality, no recognition of the shrinking resources which will define the future world.

 

The left, the right and the centre are all equally in thrall to the Emperor of Growth, but he has no rational or moral clothes.  His party is over.


Simplistic calls for no cuts, no recession and no austerity do not advance the real debate at all. We cannot risk sacrificing fair shares for the global poor, other species, and future generations on the altar of sorting out today’s mess - by going for the old idea of growth.

 

You can hang as many greenish bells and whistles on the old paradigms as you like, but the facts of life remain: To get from a greedy 3 planet economy to a workable 1 planet economy, we have to redistribute and re-direct what we already have.

 

I look around this room today, and see worried people. We are all sacred, we all deserve security and the opportunity for decent jobs. We all deserve a job you can build a life on.

 

Let’s open the real debate – the one about how we can all work together for survival and a redefined prosperity firmly rooted in the real world.

 

We all have a lot to learn, and a lot to teach. But we’re not going achieve anything lasting without working together. Let’s do it!

 

 

Con Dem-ing the Future

"We must do the right thing, and not worry about whether or not we will be successful. For if we do not do the right thing, we will be part of the problem, not part of the solution".  Schumacher

C02 in the atmosphere this month has reached the 400 parts per million level. This means the atmosphere has more C02 in it since the dawn of humanity. If we look at C02, as many scientists do, as the proverbial canary in the mine, then it is about to fall off it’s perch.

As C02 rises, so does the sea, so does precipitation in already wet climates and so does the heat in already hot lands. Food production is threatened alongside a rising tide of hungry mouths. Demand could soon outstrip supply and this is not a pretty thought.

The World Bank is now telling us that without urgent and radical cuts in emissions, global temperatures will rise by 4C or more by the end of the century, resulting in “devastating” environmental impacts for all of us. The case for political action becomes clearer by the day.

Tinkering with the deficit will not help. Neither will bedroom tax, immigration debates or baying into the wind for economic growth. Growth of the type we used to have is not the solution. The government know this, but do not act. Fatigued by their own rhetoric, they are the problem.

Those who believe that technology will solve our problems had better start investing in it fast. Without sizable investment in the technologies of the future, how can technology possibly come to the rescue.

We need the doors of finance opened to innovation, and now is not soon enough. This tired old world needs new ideas. For example, digging up the ground for fuel seems almost Neanderthal when above us shines an almost infinite supply of clean energy. It is ironic then, that the more fossil fuels we burn, the less the sun seems to shine, and the less the sun shines the more fossil fuels we burn. We are being forced by bad government policy and multinational corporations to pick up a shovel and dig our own graves. The future is being ConDem-ed.

We need to plough money – not into banks – but directly into research and development, innovation and universities, to solve the problems of our time.

We need a dynamic economy to surge ahead and overtake the old. We need to let the old economic order die. We need to apply green economic thinking and seek out the benefits of a steady state where constant innovation continually moves us forward to the goals we seek. Goals such as enough food for all, enough energy for all, democratic energy and full employment.

The pressing needs of today are climate change, energy and food. To have these needs equally distributed requires new thinking – Green thinking.

It is not enough to carry on the way we are and hoping something will turn up. It won’t. 400 ppm of C02 in the atmosphere is too much, and nothing can be heard from government on the subject but a resounding silence. This government is presiding over the biggest mistake humanity has ever made. It is condemning the future.

Shortermism and bankers bonuses will do little more than make rich people even richer. Every thinking citizen knows there is a better way forward. It has never been said that Greens are part of the problem. We are a huge part of the solution and we are ready to apply it.

Letter to Comissioner Borg on the upcoming EU vote on a partial banning of neonicotinoids 25.04.2013

Dear Commissioner Borg

Firstly I would like to thank you for your efforts to date with regard to the securing of restrictions to the use of 3 neonicotinoids, to help protect bees and other pollinators.

As the next vote is shortly upon us, I write to impress upon you the following:

1. It is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure member states uphold EU law. EU Regulation 1107/2009 (Annex II, 3.8.3.) states (1): 

An active substance, safener or synergist shall be approved only if it is established following an appropriate risk assessment on the basis of Community or internationally agreed test guidelines, that the use under the proposed conditions of use of plant protection products containing this active substance, safener or synergist: will result in a negligible exposure of honey bees, or has no unacceptable acute or chronic effects on colony survival and development, taking into account effects on honey bee larvae and honey bee behaviour.”

It is clear from EFSA investigations that at least 3 neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam) should not have been authorised and are currently on the market illegally.  EU states must surely withdraw them from sale pending submission of a full and complete assessment dossier.  It should be noted that honey bees are one of a myriad species, selected to represent not only pollinators but also non-target invertebrates, regardless of whether or not they visit flowering crops.

2. The UK government has advocated the need to wait for its own field studies, and this data has now been entered onto the UK DEFRA website (Thompson et al (2)).  This flawed study provides no justification whatsoever to delay a ban.  The study had no control, statistical information was omitted from public scrutiny, it has not been peer reviewed and has been heavily criticized by independent scientists(3).  Furthermore, it is inconsistent with findings of the UK Environmental Audit Committee inquiry, published earlier this year(4).

3. Given the initial interrogation of the Risk Assessment standards by EFSA in May 2012 (5), it is clear that regulatory tests were inadequate for assessing systemic insecticides.  In light of this, I ask that (in addition to the impending EFSA assessment of Fipronil), the remaining neonicotinoids be assessed with urgency and to at least the same standard and independence, and that neonicotinoids and systemic insecticides with authorisations impending, be immediately delayed until EFSA can be certain that they meet completely the requirements of the law.

4. Millions of EU citizens have repeatedly expressed their support for a ban on neonicotinoids.  No government or corporation should be above the law, nor the rights and wishes of the citizens, including those enshrined in the Aarhus Convention, which: “links environmental rights and human rights. It acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations. It establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders. It links government accountability and environmental protection” (6).

Again, I wish to emphasize that I fully support your actions to protect pollinators, and to encourage you to exert full pressure on Member States to uphold the law.  The restrictions proposed thus far, are more than a generous compromise that favours corporation far more than pollinators, the environment and citizens, for allowing some continued use of a poison that has no legal right to be on the market, and for which no evidence-based justification can be found.

 Yours sincerely,

Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party Leader on behalf of Wales Green Party and the 181,099 members of BeeTheChange https://www.causes.com/beethechange

(1)  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:309:0001:0050:EN:PDF

(2)  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-assessment-of-key-evidence-about-neonicotinoids-and-bees

(3)  One example:  http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35058/title/A-Political-Battle-Over-Pesticides/

(4)  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvaud/668/66802.htm

(5)  http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2668.htm

(6) Aarhus Convention: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/acig.pdf

Organisations that support a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides

The European Science Agency, The European Food Safety Agency
The European Parliament, The European Commission
Tonio Borg - European Commissioner for the Environment

The Dutch Parliament, The French National Assembly, The Polish National Assembly
The European Beekeeping Co-ordination, The German Professional Beekeepers Union
The National Union of French Beekeepers (UNAF)

The 13 member states who voted for a ban (March 15, 2013)

Greenpeace (3 million members)
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1 million members)
THE ROYAL WILDLIFE TRUSTS (all 47 trusts, a total of 800,000 members)
The Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Green Party
Buglife, Friends of the Bees, Pesticide Action Network UK
Friends of the Earth, The Soil Association
The Women’s Institute (200,000 members)

Lord Debden (John Gummer),
Joan Walley - Chair - Environmental Audit Committee
Alyn Smith - Scottish M.E.P.
Glasgow & District BKA, Cowall BKA, Caddenfoot BKA

AVAAZ (2.5 million signatures to petition)
GoodIsPlanetEarth/BeeTheChange (150,000 members and 40,000 petition signatures, delivered to Welsh Assembly 21/02/13)

Pippa Bartolotti

07981 717757 

 Leader, Wales Green Partycid:image001.jpg@01CD8C36.5D44E050