GREEN Party candidate Vix Lowthion has urged Conservative candidate Bob Seely to attend tonight's public meeting about oil drilling on the Island.

The meeting is at 6.30pm at the Riverside Centre, Newport, and has been organised by the Green Party.

In a letter to Mr Seely, Ms Lowthion said: "It was announced last week that UKOG (UK Oil and Gas) will be submitting plans to drill for oil and gas in Arreton and Godshill in the New Year.

"They have chosen to hold their public consultation at Newport Cricket Ground on December 16 — after the result of the General Election in announced.

"It is important Islanders come together to oppose this oil drilling in the centre of our Island and our next MP is committed to putting forward legislation in Westminster to ban new oil and gas exploitation.

"The damage to our countryside, our water supply, our roads, our entire biosphere and tourism and agricultural industries will be substantial.

"The reality is we are in a Climate Emergency. We need to fulfil the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030 to have a good chance of tackling climate change.

"We must invest in clean, green renewable energies, not the extraction of more fossil fuels to burn and raise the global temperature to irreversible levels. We have to keep the oil in the ground.

"This meeting will be a good opportunity for Islanders to hear from you how the Conservative Government will protect the Isle of Wight from the damage from oil drilling.

"The Green Party are firm and bold when it comes to the oil industry.

"We will put a carbon tax on domestic extraction to compensate for the damage fossil fuels cause to the environment.

"We will remove all subsidies paid to the oil and gas industry — currently a massive £10.5 billion a year.

"Greens won’t just ban fracking, but we will legislate for an outright ban on all unconventional forms of fossil fuel extraction. Now and forever.

"I know you share my view that our Island is beautiful and precious to all who live and work here.

"We must protect it and the rest of the United Kingdom for

generations to come.

"We need a robust National Planning Policy Framework and Isle of Wight Council Minerals and Waste policy.

"We need MPs in Parliament who will change the law to support a Sustainable Economy which is decarbonised – starting with banning all new domestic fossil fuel extraction.

"We need a Green MP for the Isle of Wight. I look forward to working with you on this critical issue."

Yesterday, Mr Seely said Islanders should 'vote blue for a green future'.

Update Tuesday 4pm:

Mr Seely has responded to Ms Lowthion:

"Thank you for the invitation to tonight’s meeting. As you will appreciate, it is far too short notice, and I have a pre-existing campaign commitment. I hope that you have a worthwhile meeting with your members and supporters.

"Secondly, I am surprised that you do not appear to have invited the other candidates standing in this election, particularly the second-placed party from last time – Labour (who are also the only other party with a prospect of leading the next government). Perhaps you could issue a short notice invitation to them as well, as Richard may be free.

"At the end of your letter, you state that “we need a Green MP for the Isle of Wight”. It goes without saying that this is your position as the Green candidate, but I felt it would be useful to set out why – in the view of the Conservative Party – anyone who cares about the environment should instead be voting for us.

"It was under the Conservatives that the UK became the first advanced economy to legislate for Net Zero emissions by 2050. We have already reduced emissions by a quarter since 2010 and boosted renewables to record levels. We will end the UK’s contribution to climate change by expanding electric vehicle use, supporting new clean technologies like fusion and making all new homes energy efficient. But we know we have more to do and we will put climate change at the heart of the Conservative agenda. We have reduced greenhouse gases by a quarter under the Conservatives.

"The Conservatives are taking world-leading action to tackle the scourge of plastics. We have already banned plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds from April next year and we’re introducing a landmark Environment Bill that both encourage producers to cut waste and protect our precious water resources. This is on top of the action we’ve taken to ban microbeads, which can be so harmful in our rivers and oceans, and to reduce the number of plastic bags that so often end up discarded. Thanks to our efforts, plastic bag sales are down by 90 per cent since 2015 and the fee we introduced is being used for environmental causes.

"In contrast, when the Greens ran Brighton from 2011-2015, recycling rates collapsed due to the shambles of the administration. Brighton ranked 302 out of 324 local authorities in recycling. Can you explain why your record in power was so poor under the Greens?

"Whereas the Conservative-run Isle of Wight Council will soon have one of the highest recycling rates in Europe, following the completion of the recycling plant.

"Secondly, can you confirm the Green position on nuclear power? The authoritative United Nations panel on Climate Change – the IPCC -  says nuclear power provides one third of all clean power in the world and is vital if we are to have any chance of dealing with climate change. But your manifesto talks of reducing our reliance on nuclear power, and proposes a prohibition on the construction of nuclear power stations.

"Finally, I note that your letter states that we need MPs in Parliament who will change the law to support a Sustainable Economy. I agree, and that is why – if re-elected – I will support the Environment Bill (as announced in the Queen’s Speech) to tackle environmental priorities and leave our planet in a better condition for future generations. The Bill will ensure we can embrace the opportunities of leaving the EU, going further on environmental protections and truly cementing our position as a world leader."


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