26 January 2009
The proposed 10-mile barrage would stretch from Cardiff to Weston-super-Mare and cost £15 billion. The Wales Green Party said it was wholly committed to the development of renewable energy but that the proposed barrage would do more harm than good. The Wales Green Party's policy of opposing the barrage plans is endorsed by many other groups, such as the World Wildlife Fund, the National Trust, and Friends of the Earth.
Studies have shown that a Severn barrage would adversely affect the ecology of the estuary, an internationally-protected wildlife site. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said 80,000 waterfowl - including dunlin and redshank - which the society estimates use the estuary as their winter feeding grounds would have to go elsewhere or perish.
Jake Griffiths, Wales Green Party spokesperson and the Wales Green Party's party's lead candidate for June's European Parliament, said: "The Welsh Assembly has stated that Wales could be self sufficient in electricity generated from renewable energy sources without having to build a Severn barrage. If that is the case why build something that is going to have such a huge environmental impact and divert much needed cash away from improving energy efficiency and other renewable energy projects which can have a far bigger impact on reducing carbon emissions per pound spent? This barrage is an irresponsible and wasteful gamble with significant environmental impacts - there are simply too many cheaper options for clean energy generation. Other viable technologies would be more practical, more flexible, offer better value-for-money and damage the environment less."
Jake Griffiths continued: "Long before other political parties caught up, the Green Party recognised the very serious threat posed by climate change. Alone among political parties, the Green Party has pushed at European, national and local level for a massive programme of energy conservation, alongside a whole range of renewable energy options. For this reason, the Green Party of England and Wales voted in March 2007 in favour of developing renewable energies in the Severn Estuary. But, at the same time, it rejected the proposals for a Severn Barrage - because the alternatives are far better. I wholeheartedly endorse our support for Stop the Barrage NOW in their campaign to avoid this inefficient use of public money, time and effort."
The government has said it will make a decision on whether or not to go ahead with the barrage by 2010.
For further information contact Jake Griffiths from the Wales Green Party on 07752754537 and email@example.com