Massive deforestation in Brazil threatens our climate

A new  investigation by the NGO Global Witness has revealed a chain of participants from cattle ranchers through to multinational beef traders, international financiers, supermarkets and fast-food chains, and the governments that regulate them, are either destroying rainforests or are complicit in the destruction of the Amazon, with flawed audits undertaken by US and European auditors.

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Electric charging points – we need to get out of the slow lane

One item in  the Government’s 10 point green plan announced last week included a ban on the sales of new combustion engines by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035. However, the 2030 ban means that all new car buyers across the UK within a decade will need easy access to charging infrastructure. However,  the current public charging network favours the south east and London as these two areas received 45% of new charger capacity in the past year, according to recent analysis (see: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/23/regional-disparities-in-electric-car-charging-points-revealed

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The environment – getting the balance right

Councillor Andy Brown writes

Those of us who love trees should perhaps be celebrating the plans to plant 50 million of them in a new Northern Forest and welcoming the Agriculture Bill’s encouragement of greater tree cover. Before any of us gets too carried away with enthusiasm, it is worth remembering that it is relatively easy to plant young saplings but very hard to get rid of established trees. What we do now is going to have an impact for decades to come and it is important that we get it right.

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Government climbs down, but are food standards guaranteed?

Recently the government accepted changes to proposed legislation that may make it harder to sign trade deals that harm food and animal welfare standards. Many see it as step in the right direction in protecting the quality of the food on our plates and our farmers and follows rebellions – led in the Commons by senior Tory MP Neil Parish (pictured) the member for Tiverton and Honiton and in the Lords by crossbench peer Lord Curry – over claims that Ministers’ original plans for a temporary food commission were ‘toothless’.

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