Worldlog week 51 – 2014
Good news this week!
The Lower House has passed our motion to actively discourage balloon releases. In the Netherlands, balloons are frequently released at festivities, but this is increasingly met with criticism. Over the past 10 years, twice as many balloon residues were found on Dutch beaches. Balloons and ribbons end up in nature as litter, are mistaken for food by animals and contribute to the plastic soup. A majority of the Lower House now wants municipalities to actively discourage balloon releases when granting permissions for events.
We also obtained a Parliamentary majority for our motion to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic. Dutch representatives will put forward this point of view at the international climate negotiations currently held in Lima. There is a lot of oil and gas under the Arctic Ocean and Siberian tundra. Increasingly more countries and companies want to drill in these sensitive natural areas, with all of the accompanying consequences and risks. In addition, removing tundra shrubs would defrost the subsoil and release the strong greenhouse gas methane. The consequences of a possible oil spill are incalculable. We are therefore pleased that this is opposed by a majority of the Lower House!
The European Commission has announced an import ban on horse meat from Mexico. Earlier this year, I requested a debate on this as the horses are severely maltreated. In addition to animal suffering, risks are involved when eating these horses because the horse meat trade is not at all transparent and registration of the origin of the meat leaves much to be desired. In the near future, we will also argue for an import ban on horse meat from other countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay, Canada and the United States, where this problem also exists.
State Secretary Dijksma has issued a permit to drill for salt in the Wadden Sea. This will have major consequences for the ecosystem and constitutes a threat to protected bird species. It is impossible that the economic interests of one company are considered more important than this. We advocate that this permit is revoked!
Bad news from Europe. The European Commission intends to withdraw an ambitious plan to recycle and reduce the mountain of waste. New regulations against air pollution will also be withdrawn. Very sad, this only proves again that our green message is desperately needed everywhere!
I found this impressive series of photos of The Boston Globe on the internet this week.
See you next week!