Cardiff Friends of the Earth newsletter - Spring 2010

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Dear Friend

Welcome to Cardiff Friends of the Earth's latest newsletter. We have been very busy campaigning over the last few months. As we've not sent a newsletter for a while, this is chunkier than the ones we'll send in the future.

We plan to take action on climate change and food issues this year, as well as continuing our opposition to the plans for a Cardiff incinerator. Please contact us if you would like more information or to help us in these campaigns.

Upcoming events

  • 3 Mar, 7.30pm - Local group meeting at Y Tair Pluen, St John's Street, Cardiff
  • 7 Mar, 10.00am to 12.00pm - Food campaign event, Riverside Farmers Market, Taff Embankment, Riverside - Cardiff FoE will be campaigning and raising awareness about the food chain. Do come and say Hello.
  • 13 Mar, 11am - Cardiff FoE's Annual General Meeting, venue to be confirmed. All members are encouraged to come along and help us prioritise our work for 2010.
  • 20 Mar - Food Campaign event, Roath Farmers Market, Keppoch Street, Roath - we'll be doing more food work!
  • 7 April, 7.30pm - Local group meeting at Y Tair Pluen, St John's Street, Cardiff
  • April - Food Chain month. Friends of the Earth is working in partnership with other organisations. keep your eyes and ears open for more information about this.

The Cardiff incinerator is back

In the last few days Viridor had also submitted a second, almost identical, planning application for an incinerator on the same site. They seem to think that with a few minor changes they can get planning permission for this huge, polluting incinerator. Don't let this happen! Please object to the new planning application.

Viridor, the incinerator company, has launched a planning appeal to the National Assembly. It wants the Assembly to overturn Cardiff Council's decision to reject planning permission for an incinerator in Splott. We will be working to ensure this doesn't happen. Find out how you can help stop the incinerator planning appeal..

You can also sign up for our incinerator newsletter and receive regular updates about Cardiff Friends of the Earth's campaign against the incinerator.

Cardiff Wakes up to climate change

We joined thousands of people around the world in calling on our leaders to wake up to climate change on 21 September. We were there for the first ever climate flashmob on Queen Street. The event was one of hundreds taking place before the United Nations and G20 meetings.

Find out more about the Cardiff climate flash mob including film footage of the event.

Food campaign

2010 is the year we will be calling for legislation to Fix the Food Chain. Currently the UK Government is subsidising factory farms and intensive farming to the tune of £700 million a year! We believe that subsidies should support environmentally-friendly forms of farming. The global livestock industry is responsible for generating more climate-changing gases than all the cars, trains and planes on the planet put together!

Please get in touch if you have ideas or contacts who could run food-related events during Food Chain Month in April so we can publicise both our and others' actions. You can get more information on this from the Friends of the Earth website.

Climate change

Protestors and blue dragon at Houses of Parliament, London
The blue dragon and Welsh protestors at the Houses of Parliament during The Wave.

Cardiff Friends of the Earth was well represented at both The Wave, in London, and The Flood in Copenhagen - the world's largest climate change protest demonstrations. We are disappointed at the failure to reach an agreement, and will be working locally to ensure that Cardiff Council takes control of its carbon emissions. You can find out more about Friends of the Earth's position on Copenhagen and find out how to sign up for updates.

Last year's successes


Cardiff politicians support action on climate change

Cardiff Friends of the Earth is delighted at the strong support for tough action on climate change from some of Cardiff's politicians at a public meeting in the Old Library on Halloween. Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP; Karen Robson, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC); Jenny Rathbone, Labour PPC; and Jill Evans, Plaid Cymru MEP all supported proposals for strong international action at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen this December. All speakers were also opposed to carbon off-setting.

Read how Cardiff politicians reject climate tricks.

Cardiff Airport Access Road cancelled

We have long been calling for better public transport access to the airport. We are now celebrating the Assembly Government's decision to scrap proposals for a new access road that would have cut a swathe through the countryside. In July this year Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones announced that public transport links to the airport would be improved, instead of building the road. Result!

Gwent Levels Motorway cancelled

The Transport Minister also scrapped the long running proposals for a new motorway around Newport. We have been campaigning against this road since the early nineties as part of the coalition CALM (Campaign against the Levels Motorway) because the road would have cut through important wildlife sites while causing more pollution and fuelling climate change. Public transport links and other initiatives will be improved instead of building this very damaging road. This is great news for travellers, wildlife and the climate!

View of the Gwent levels
The Gwent levels saved from damage by the M4 Relief Road

Pont y Werin bridge gets the go-ahead

We have been supporting Sustrans and others in their call for a bridge over the River Ely at Cardiff Bay. One action we took was as part of a large cycle ride! The Council had so far been unable to do this due to funding. But in March this year it received nearly £30 million for a Sustainable Travel Town initiative. This funding was granted by the Welsh Assembly Government as a pilot project to improve travel in and around major cities. As part of the Council's plans the Pont y Werin bridge will now be built! The bridge will allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross between Penarth at Cogan and the International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay. It would also link up to a future cycle route through to Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Friends of the Earth is the world's largest grassroots environmental campaigning network; Cardiff Friends of the Earth being a local element of this movement. We meet on the first Wednesday of every month in the Tair Pluen pub, St John's Street, CF10 1GL and are always happy to welcome new members. Please contact Raoul on 07506 568075 so he can arrange to meet you before the meeting.

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