Emergency public meetingorganised by Brent Campaign Against Climate Change and Brent Friends of the Earth. Supported by Brent Housing Action, Brent Trades Union Council and Brent Fightback. Speakers:Sophie
Neuburg (Friends of the Earth),Ewa Jasiewicz (Fuel Poverty Action), Pilgrim Tucker (Unite
Suzanne Jeffery (One Million Climate Jobs Campaign)
20February, 7.30 pm
, Chalkhill Primary School
Sports Hall, Anton Place,  Bowater Road (off Chalkhill Road), Wembley
Park. Free admission 


Introduction (Martin Francis Brent Green Party) and Suzanne Jefferies (1 Million Climate Jobs Campaign )

Ruth London (Fuel Poverty Action)

Sophie Neuberg (Friends of the Earth)

Murad Qureshi AM

Questions and discussion part 1

Questions and discussion part 2





Emergency public meeting organised by Brent Campaign Against Climate Change and Brent Friends of the Earth. Supported by Brent Housing Action, Brent Trades Union Council and Brent Fightback. Speakers: Sophie Neuburg (Friends of the Earth), Ewa Jasiewicz (Fuel Poverty Action), Pilgrim Tucker (Unite Community), Suzanne Jeffery (One Million Climate Jobs Campaign)

Thursday 20 February, 7.30 pmChalkhill Primary SchoolSports Hall, Anton Place,  Bowater Road (off Chalkhill Road), HA9 9YP . Nearest tube: Wembley Park. Free admission – all welcome.

Caroline’s comment on ‘Green Crap’

Subject: [GPMediaNet] Caroline’s comment on ‘Green Crap’ – please send to your local media contacts

 Lucas: PM’s attitude to green levies shows his contempt for the most 

Commenting on reports that the Prime Minister has dismissed fuel bill 
 levies that fund energy efficiency measures, as “green crap”, Caroline 
 Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:

 “These levies include funding for energy efficiency measures which help 
 low income households cope with soaring energy prices.

 “Whatever language the Prime Minister has used to describe them, his 
 determination to roll them back says everything about his contempt for 
 the most vulnerable, and his lack of interest in serious action to 
 tackle climate change, or to bring down fuel prices in the long term

 “By focusing the debate on green levies, which represent only a 
 fraction of energy bills, the Government is obscuring the real reason 
 for rising costs – which is the increasing wholesale price of gas, and 
 the profits of the Big Six energy companies.

 “If the Prime Minister really wanted to help families with their fuel 
 bills, he’d be investing in a major energy efficiency programme to 
 super-insulate the country’s housing stock. This would bring nine out 
 of ten homes out of fuel poverty, quadruple carbon savings, and create 
 up to 200,000 jobs.”

Fracking: neither cheap nor safe

Frontline article by Ken Montague (reproduced with permission from

The growing resistance to fracking – the “hydraulic fracturing” of deep level shale rocks to extract natural gas – promises to reignite the climate movement after years of demoralisation following the failure of the UN climate talks in 2009.
A feature of the recent march and blockades at Cuadrilla Resources’ drilling site near Balcombe in West Sussex was the diversity of the people involved, as well as the numbers. Local residents were central to the protests, as they have been at Fylde, near Blackpool, where two Cuadrilla fracking operations led to minor earthquakes.
Today there are 45 anti-fracking groups around the country preparing to take action when further licences are issued. Given that 64 percent of England sits above shale gas and oil deposits, and their commercial exploitation could mean thousands of fracking sites, the protests are likely to increase and erupt into a full-scale war of attrition against the Cameron government and its dash for gas.
What has made fracking such an explosive issue is the evidence after 20 years of drilling in the US that the process is inherently unsafe. This is due to the uncontrolled leakage of methane into the air and groundwater, and the possible risks to health of the chemical additives in the fracking fluid used to prize the rocks open. Methane is a neurotoxin, which can cause early-onset dementia. The mix of additives, which in America has found its way into drinking water, includes chemicals that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.
The British government says that fracking will only be permitted under strict regulation. But this ignores the fact that we do not have the technology to ensure that the cement barriers encasing the drilling shafts can withstand the pressures involved or that gas can be prevented from escaping from the pipelines and processing units.
Studies in the US showed that in 45 percent of cases the barriers failed at some point in the process and 5 percent of rigs leaked from the start.
The other, broader, issue is the government’s intention to make gas a “core part” of Britain’s energy mix “well into and beyond” 2030. This flies in the face of the warnings by many authorities that, with the unabated burning of fossil fuels, the world is on course for an unthinkable temperature increase of 4 to 6 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
A recent report by Lord Stern and the Carbon Tracker think-tank made it clear that, if we are to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, we have to switch to renewables now, and leave 80 percent of coal, gas and oil reserves “in the ground”.
Last year the government’s decision to cut investment in renewables and make Britain “even more attractive” for the oil and gas companies provoked an angry letter from its independent Committee on Climate Change stating categorically that gas-fired power generation “could not form the basis for government policy” if it was to meet its carbon reduction targets.
Of course there are apologists for fracking who argue that gas can be a “transitional” fuel because it emits only 50 percent of the CO2 emitted by coal. In a recent speech on climate change, US president Barack Obama even referred to it as “clean” energy. This overlooks the effect of the leakage of methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
For natural gas to be cleaner than coal, methane emissions would need to be kept below 2 percent of annual production, but recent studies by the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration at gas fields in California, Colorado and Utah found that leakages ranged between 2.3 percent and 17 percent of production.
As well as giving tax breaks to the fracking companies and cash sweeteners to local communities, the government tries to sell us fracking by saying it will offer unlimited cheap energy and create thousands of jobs.
The Committee on Climate Change, however, has shown that extracting gas is actually more costly than installing renewables and even Cuadrilla admits that the impact on fuel bills would be negligible.
Leaving aside Green MP Caroline Lucas’s comment that “there are no jobs on a dead planet”, there is clear evidence that renewables generate more jobs than fossil fuel industries. A study by the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute suggests that a million dollars invested in gas would create five jobs while the same amount invested in wind and solar power would create around 13 jobs. This is the kind of argument behind the growing campaign in Britain for a million climate jobs.
Fracking for gas is not safe, not clean, not cheap, and nor the best way to create jobs or to tackle climate change. Nonetheless, Lord John Browne, the government’s chief adviser on the subject, says it’s the way forward. He should know; he is chairman and 30 percent owner of Cuadrilla.
Ken Montague is the secretary of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group

Brent FoE/CCC Anti-Fracking demo at Willesden Green

IMG_0138 IMG_0141


Brent Friends of the Earth’s protest against fracking outside Willesden Green station garnered support from many residents who were opposed to the environment damaging process. Brent Council didn’t quite get the purpose of the protest, stating deadpan that there were no plans to frack in Willesden Green and that clay was an unsuitable fracking medium.

The campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the issue and getting politicians across London, councillors, Assembly members and MPs,  to commit themselves to oppose fracking.  Campaigners heard that one local councillor had received 50 emails on the day that the protest had been announced.

Despite the Council’s statement, there are fracking possibilities nearby: Barnet Friends of the Earth are campaigning about a possible site in Edgware. The process uses huge amounts of water and areas of high population need all the water they can get. They also need clean water and fracking threatens to contaminate our supplies. The water table does not stop at borough borders.

(reprinted with permission from thanks to Martin Francis).




Electric House, 296 Willesden Lane, London, NW2 5HW



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