Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cutting air travel through using video link

This week, I did something which might help save the planet. (Sorry if that sounds like Lembit Opik). We beamed the EU Commission into our Environment, Planning and Countrtyside Committee by video link. Apart from one or two hiccups it worked really well. So much so that the DG Environment Cabinet's Martijn Quinn who spent 40 informative minutes with us has told the EU Commissioner for Communications and Relations with National Parliaments that this was a really good model of how the Commission can engage with the people of Europe. And the significance was increased in that we were discussing how to protect the World's biodiversity. There is no need for Assembly Committees to fly to Brussels to meet the Commission any more. It saves time, money and the environment. No more demanding evening meetings at Kitty O'Shea's. No more 'cultural' exchages with the social side of European nightlife. Sell your shares in airline companies. Cancel investment the road and rail links to Cardiff Airport. Though I do (rather sheepishly) have to admit that I am off to Belfast in 10 days time and to Vienna the week after that - and on Assembly business at that. We have a long way to go to save the planet - but at least this week my committee made a start.

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