Monday, March 10, 2008

What happened to the video-link?

I was disappointed to read on Betsan Powis' blog tonight that the National Assembly's Sustainability Committee Chair, Mick Bates is to lead a team of AMs to Germany and Austria as part of an inquiry into 'Carbon Reduction in Wales'. It seems that the AMs are all flying (3 flights in all). So the National Assembly for Wales is playing its full part in accelerating global warming!

Why don't they arrange to discuss these issues by video-link? When I was an Assembly Member myself, I chaired the Environment, Planning and Countryside Committee, and during my last year, 2006/07 we started inviting senior EU officials and politicians to meet the Committee via video link between Cardiff and Brussels. I'd hoped that this way of communicating would grow in usage, and become the norm. Its no good politicians banging on about reducing carbon footprints unless they walk the walk themselves.

I'm sure that there are good reasons why these particular discussions have to be held face-to-face. But I just thought I'd make the point - on the day when Her Majesty, The Queen, called on the world to work together to protect the environment. Now, I'm not talking 'crusade' here. After all, I like to take the odd holiday in the sun myself. You can't soak in the sun in winter without flying after it. But I do hope the video-link meetings, which looked so promising as a means of reducing air travel 18 months ago, is not put on the back burner.


Anonymous said...

This visit was suggested by the Committee Chair - who is also Chair of the NASEG - a LIb Dem who obviously can't remember the video links when he was only a mere Committee Member!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

So Glyn, when ur safely ensconced in London, will you forget about your loyal following that move heaven and earth to visit this web site?

As an aside, anyone following the New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer train wreck? As a Harvard Law Professor remarked (last night), "Boys get stupid when it comes to sex, and boy did he (Spitzer) get stupid".

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I was too polite to be quite so blunt.

christopher - I would continue blogging and I anticipate that there will be a lot more material - though I've decide to spend some time on my Welsh Language blog when I reach a 1000 posts on this one. I also expect my blog to become less focussed on Welsh politics after the summer break and we are on the descent into a General Election.

mabon said...

video links and their proper use are currently virtually non existent ithin the assembly in my experience. I had hoped that all the new buildings and the refurbs in existing buildings would be fully video linked up, but civil servant travel for meetings between each other or outside bodies across wales is huge. It eally needs to be addressed for both finance and enviromental reasons. And if senior staff really are to work outside Cardiff.

Glyn Davies said...

mabon - When I was pushing this method of communicating, I realised that it wasn't perfect. But unless we stick at it, the systems will not improve. In the long run, the environmental benefit could be significant. I've been dissappointed by how little progress has been made