Press release: Landmark Agriculture Bill to deliver a Green Brexit

first_img The introduction of the Agriculture Bill is an historic moment as we leave the EU and move towards a brighter future for farming. After nearly 50 years of being tied to burdensome and outdated EU rules, we have an opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit. This Bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations. Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead. Legislation to deliver a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations after nearly half a century under EU rules is being introduced into Parliament today (12 September).The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments, which is ineffective and pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed. These payments are skewed towards the largest landowners and are not linked to any specific public benefits. The top 10% of recipients currently receive almost 50% of total payments, while the bottom 20% receive just 2%.In its place, a new Environmental Land Management system will start from next year. The government will work together with farmers to design, develop and trial the new approach. Under the new system, farmers and land managers who provide the greatest environmental benefits will secure the largest rewards, laying the foundations for a Green Brexit.The Bill will also be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in (R&D).For example, there will be funding available for farmers to come together to develop and get the research projects that they want and need, whether that be on soil health or sustainable livestock farming . This will lead to practical gains for farmers that help them become more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint.The government will also be able to make payments during the seven year transition period for famers to invest in new technologies and methods that boost productivity.Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: Farmers will be supported over a seven year transition period as we as leave the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).For 2019, Direct Payments will be made on the same basis as now, subject to simplifications where possible. Direct Payments for 2020 will also be made in much the same way as now. Simplifications will be made as soon as possible, subject to the terms of the overall Brexit implementation period. There will then be an agricultural transition period in England between 2021 and 2027 as payments are gradually phased out.During consultation, there was a widespread support for applying reductions to Direct Payments more widely. All farmers will therefore see some reduction to their payments from the start of the transition, although those who receive the highest payments will see bigger reductions initially. This will free up funds to invest in public goods.To help new entrants get into the sector and give farmers flexibility to plan for the future, Direct Payments during the agricultural transition period up until 2027 will be “delinked” from the requirement to farm the land.These payments, which may be calculated according to money received in previous years, can be used by farmers to invest in their business, diversify their activities or else retire from farming and give way for new people to enter.The Bill also sets out how the government will strengthen transparency in the supply chain to help farmers get a better deal in the marketplace.By collecting data from across the supply chain, the government will help food producers strengthen their negotiating position at the farm gate and seek a fairer return.The introduction of the Agriculture Bill now means that all the necessary measures will be in place for the start of the agricultural transition in 2021, delivering a smooth transition to the new domestic policy.last_img read more

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Cancellations for Jan. 30: Schools closed today

first_imgCancellations and postponements related to the Jan. 30 storm will be posted here. To add an event to our listing, email us at [email protected] pickup in Jay has been pushed back one day due to the storm. The Wednesday route will be picked up Thursday and the Thursday route will be picked up Friday.Chesterville town office opening at 11 a.m.No school in RSU 9 today, Jan. 30.No school in RSU 73 today, Jan. 30.No school in MSAD 58 today, Jan. 30.WMCA Franklin County Offices will open at 11 a.m.last_img

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Coronavirus may slow Southeast Asia’s renewable energy transition

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNA:Regional aspirations for a swift transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy are likely to be dashed by the economic and market crises triggered by the global COVID-19 outbreak, experts say.Southeast Asian nations already struggling to meet climate change targets will find those goals further from reach, with the unprecedented health emergency becoming the principal priority and a major economic burden.Nuclear energy exploration – being considered by several nations in recent times, including Indonesia and the Philippines – is now also expected to be shelved indefinitely.“The collapse in oil and gas prices and decline in coal prices together will undermine support for renewable energy in most countries, at least in the short-term, because governments have other matters to worry about,” said Dr Philip Andrews-Speed, Senior Principal Fellow at the Energy Studies Institute at the National University of Singapore.“They (the governments) will have even less ability to provide direct financial support and renewable energy supply chains have been disrupted.”He added: “As a result, the switch from fossil fuels to renewables may be delayed a few years across many countries.”Countries across the region face lower levels of economic growth and recession. In a report published on Mar 31, the World Bank declared that “significant economic pain seems unavoidable” across the region. Projections for the major economies of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are of 5 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent negative growth respectively in 2020. Singapore’s full-year GDP growth forecast has been downgraded to -6 per cent, from -2.3 per cent, according to Maybank Kim Eng economists. Southeast Asia is a region hungry for electricity and growing hungrier by 6 per cent every year, one of the fastest rates in the world, according to a 2019 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Power demand has grown by 80 per cent since 2000, resulting in the doubling of the use of fossil fuels. It could increase by a further 60 per cent by 2040, based on stated policies of regional governments. In times of fiscal weakness, the imperative in developing economies may shift to provide power as cheaply as possible. Replacing dirty power generation with new cleaner technologies with high upfront costs looks far less attractive now than pre-COVID-19.Already, securing financing for traditional technologies, including so-called “clean coal,” has proven problematic of late. Extra financial pressures could cut further those investment pathways, giving more impetus to a renewable shift. Asia is already the world leader for renewable sector growth – up 7.6 per cent of supply in 2019 and accounting for 54 per cent of new global additions in 2019 – according to an annual report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. While 2020 will be a different prospect, there remains confidence in the long-term trajectory of the sector. [Jack Board]More: Southeast Asia’s renewable energy transition likely to take hit from COVID-19: Experts Coronavirus may slow Southeast Asia’s renewable energy transitionlast_img read more

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Dominica boasts high immunization coverage

first_imgLocalNews Dominica boasts high immunization coverage by: – June 29, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Share 116 Views   one commentcenter_img Tweet Share Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Helen Royer Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Helen Royer, said though the ministry she represents is concerned that immunization regulations have “not” been enacted into law, she is “pleased” that Dominica “boasts” over 95 percent immunization coverage.Royer was a guest speaker at the expanded program of immunization (EPI) awards ceremony on Wednesday.“It is not mandatory for all children to be adequately vaccinated prior to school entry, however we are happy to report that immunization has been well accepted by the public and coverage rates continue to be high”.“The ministry of Health is cognizant of the fact that our success in immunization was not earned overnight, but it is a result of a long term planning which in itself is a laudable undertaking of further critical steps in nation building”.The EPI program was initiated in May of 1974 by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to make vaccines available to all children of the world and was implemented in Dominica in the late 1970’s.Royer noted that Dominica along with its regional partners now enjoy a new era of “improved” child health care and celebrates this mile stone by recognizing the “progress” that has been made by “reducing” vaccine preventable diseases that have cause death and disability to children around the world.“Presently our immunization coverage remains above 95% for all antigens and the Ministry of Health can boast of a very effective EPI program. Dominica can also boast its excellent primary health care system for program implementation and universal access to the services available”, Royer added.She further urged heath care professionals to “avoid” complacency because notwithstanding the incredible “successes”, the EPI program still faces “challenges”, some which she said cannot be address “solely” by the ministry and which will “necessitate” commitment by all parties.“We must renew the primary health care thrust and create a paradigm shift to address the emerging public threats together with rising patient expectations”.Recently, Dominica received a 1st place trophy from PHAO and WHO for its efforts at maintaining an efficient surveillance and reporting system.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

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