“More people than ever suffer poverty, hunger, environmental devastation, war and repression. Globalisation has surged forward. The gap between rich and poor grows wider every day. Climate change continues unabated. Vital bio-diversity resources are being dangerously depleted. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in June 2003 showed that human beings are using about 25% more natural resources than the Earth can replenish. Over a billion people are still without clean drinking water. More than 8% of children born in developing countries die before their first birthday. The poorest 40% of people have access to a mere 11% of the world's resources." Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans
There is a reality. We live in a world of great inequality, with considerable wealth in many Western countries, offset by abject poverty in the less developed countries. We also live in a world facing real environmental crises, with threats from global warming, acid rain, ozone depletion and the continuing decline in bio-diversity.
Unsustainability is truly global and will need action at worldwide as well as local levels. To achieve real sustainability we must foster radical changes to every aspect of our lives - how we live, how we consume, etc., to rebuild sustainable and equitable communities. That means decisive action by governments as well by individuals.
Mebyon Kernow is committed to strong environmental measures, to promote real sustainability and equity throughout the world, both North and South. These include:-
· Implementation of a strengthened Kyoto Protocol and a strong campaign to persuade all countries to sign up to it.
· Support for all initiatives to tackle global poverty through the cancellation of third world debt, increased aid to the developing world and an end to unfair trade rules.
· New policies aimed at cutting energy consumption and pollution, while at the same time encouraging more environmentally sound measures, such as:-
Integrated transport policy with improved public transport and rail services. More freight on rail and the increased transport of people and goods by sea.
Alternative energy technologies, for which Cornwall is ideally placed, and to end present reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power.
· A decentralised, self-reliant and sustainable economy which provides local needs as locally as possible, within an awareness of global environmental problems. A local economy would reduce levels of long-distance travel and reduce dependence on imports, and provide the basic framework for a sustainable society.
· Opposition to genetically modified crops.
· Destruction of all nuclear weapons.
· A zero waste strategy aiming at the elimination of landfilling and incineration, which invests in the radical reduction of waste generated by industry, business and households and increases reuse and recycling. This will aid the economy by increasing business efficiency and enabling Cornwall to promote itself as among the worlds leading Green economies.