Air pollution during the London 2012 Olympic Games is set to be monitored using pioneering 3D technology developed by the University of Leicester (UoL). The technology, developed by a team of researchers from UoL gathers scattered sunlight to scan whole cities and takes readings of air quality to help assess the impact of increased traffic levels on pollution.
A smartphone wheelie bin application to notify householders of changes in waste collection services will be launched by two of England’s top performing recycling councils this summer. The Binfo app, which will go live in time for the Jubilee weekend on 2-5 June, will be available for Android and iPhone users and has been designed to alert residents to new recycling services as well as service changes.
The UK’s Green Party says that the UK’s drought status and hosepipe ban during a period of torrential rain is the result of mismanagement by water companies who said that the current water restrictions demonstrate an urgent need for better water management by companies, as well as for climate change issues to be addressed. The Green Party also called for water companies to tackle leaks, which it says will save water, reduce costs and provide thousands of jobs. And Scottish Lib Dem MEP George Lyon says that Europe’s need to increase food production is being blocked by energy and water constraints saying the last time the ERU needed to improve food production “In the 1950s and 60s unused land was put into production, poor land was improved, lots of water was used for irrigation and energy, which was dirt cheap at the time, was thrown at the problem,” adding “The challenge today is to achieve the same output boost while trying to reduce the amount of energy and water used in production and doing so without any new land being available.”
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire from leading environmental figures after what was heralded as a keynote green economic speech was downgraded. Reacting to the speech made by the Prime Minister at the Clean Energy Ministerial in London, a number of green NGOs, businesses and politicians have disputed claims that new policies and reforms enacted by the Coalition have been responsible for driving the UK’s green economy. Labour shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint MP criticised the PM for failing to deliver a “proper” speech, saying it demonstrated the Government’s real lack of support for the green economy. Energy secretary Ed Davey launched the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) by pledging that the UK would develop a policy framework with ministers worldwide that supports clean tech innovation.
Sustainability may be past the toddler stage but it’s not much more grown up than that, according to Forum for the Future deputy chief executive Dr. Sally Uren. Speaking at the ‘Sustainable Business in Practice’ conference Dr Uren said that while “sustainability language” had hit the mainstream that she wasn’t sure it was fully embedded in business as “if it was we would be much closer to a sustainable economy”. Rather, she said that sustainability is in its “teenage years as it has had a growth spurt and got us to where we are now.” It has also left the toddler stage where people didn’t really understand it”, she added saying it is “coming of age”. And in the wake of the Clean Energy Ministerial in London, Lib Dem peer Lord Redesale who is chair of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, said that while the coalition has set out an ambitious goal to be the ‘greenest Government ever’ and made some positive steps that progress towards renewables remains “painfully slow”. NHS hospitals have been told that they could make significant savings in the future by tapping into the waste they produce to power their sites as part of a decentralised energy strategy. This is according to MITIE, a leading outsourcing firm, which is working with a number of NHS trusts to improve their sustainability ratings.
Edie.net reports that twelve EU regions are to join forces to develop a common framework in a bid to improve the consistency of recycling and recovery rates across Europe. The partnership project ‘Regions 4 Recycling’ (R4R) will run over three years and will formulate a methodology for waste data observation, selective collection and recycling rates that will enable participating regions to share best practice to improve their recycling performance. Countries involved include France, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Romania, Estonia and Ireland. So far, there is no UK involvement.