Green MP joins South West Greens at Hinkley demo

7 April 2014

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas will be visiting Hinkley Point on Thursday 10 April, joining Green Party activists and other anti nuclear campaigners to demonstrate against controversial plans to build Hinkley C, which would be the UK's largest nuclear power station.

This will not be the first visit by Ms Lucas to Hinkley Point. As a long standing anti-nuclear campaigner she has attended many demonstrations and rallies against nuclear power and is a sponsor of the Stop Hinkley campaign [1]. However, Caroline Lucas is also seeking to add weight to a submission by South West Green Party to the EU outlining why they believe the Hinkley C deal is in breach of EU competition rules.

Dr Molly Scott Cato, lead Green Party European candidate in the South West and the Party's speaker on finance, will be attending the demo with Caroline Lucas and two other Green Party European candidates, Emily McIvor and Ricky Knight. In response to an EU consultation, Dr Scott Cato has accused the government of providing a 'back door' subsidy to EDF, the company planning to build Hinkley C [2].

She said
The government seems determined to play a game of 'when is a subsidy not a subsidy' over Hinkley C. Agreeing to pay a price for electricity that is twice the current market price is effectively a subsidy by the back door to the tune of £17.6bn over the lifetime of the deal.

There are other subsides too such as government underwriting the costs of insurance and paying for the huge cost of waste disposal.

These subsidies distort competition and unfairly disadvantage potential competitors in the solar, wind and tidal power industries.

A report by South West Green Party published earlier this year identifies the region as a national leader in renewable electricity generation [3] but claims the government is undermining the enormous economic opportunities offered by this sector in the South West.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said
At a time when the costs of renewable energy are rapidly falling, it's reckless for the Government to subsidise the nuclear industry.

There also remain serious safety concerns about nuclear and no safe, reliable way to deal with the toxic waste it creates. Instead of locking Britain into this costly and risky technology, the Government should be investing seriously in energy efficiency and renewables.

As a region already leading the country in renewable energy generation, the government must abandon its nuclear programme and demonstrate clear and unequivocal support for renewable energy technologies in the South West.

Caroline Lucas' itinerary [4] will also include visiting Green Party members at a stall in Weston super-Mare and she will help Green Party campaigners distribute leaflets at Bristol Parkway, promoting the petition by South West Green Party to take back the Great Western rail franchise into public ownership [5].

CONTACT
Andrew Bell
South West Green Party Press Officer
abell@phonecoop.coop
07903 932220

Molly Scott Cato
molly@gaianeconomics.org
07890 832891
twitter.com/Molly4Europe

NOTES
[1] http://stophinkley.org/

[2] UK Government Support for Hinkley C Does Not Conform to EU State Aid Rules: Submission from South West Green Party Lead Euro-Candidate Molly Scott Cato

[3] http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/policy/energy.html

[4] Caroline Lucas and South West Green Party: full itinerary, Thursday 10th April

Caroline Lucas, Molly Scott Cato and other Green Party candidates and members will be available for interviews throughout the day. Please see itinerary below and contact Andrew Bell, press officer to arrange for an interview.

10:00: Caroline Lucas arrives at Bristol Parkway station by train and transfers to Hinkley Point

11:30 – 13:00: Hinkley Point demo with Dr Molly Scott Cato, SW Green Party members and Stop Hinkley campaigners.

13:00 Transfer to Weston super-Mare

14:00 – 15.15: Caroline Lucas and Molly Scott Cato to attend Green Party information stall at ItalianGardens, Weston super-Mare with Emily McIvor, candidate No. 2 on the SW region European list.

15:15: transfer to Bristol Parkway

16:00: Join Green Party campaigners at Bristol Parkway station calling for taking back Great Western franchise into public ownership

16:30 Caroline Lucas departs

[5] e-petition: Take back the Great Western franchise into public ownership: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/56244






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