UK farmers say that the UK will soon be importing most of its fruit and vegetables. The views echo previously unreported Government figures that showed that in 2012 – the year of the very wet summer – the UK only grew 56% of what it needs and that for the last 12 years there has been a decline in the nation’s self sufficiency.

The water community has called for the United Nations to put special emphasis on water when it considers the post-2015 global development agenda. In a statement generated from an open and inclusive consultation process before and during World Water Week, respondents agreed that the UN agenda must include a dedicated goal on water.  The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) presented the statement, known as the Stockholm Statement, during the closing ceremony of World Water Week

The first ever sustainability accreditation for food destinations has been developed by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The new sustainability rating will be rolled out to a variety of destinations including shopping centres, airports, stadiums and stations as retailers and restaurants increasingly seek to demonstrate their approach to responsible business.  Recent research conducted by the SRA shows that 70% of consumers would choose a sustainable restaurant given the option with more than half (52%) are prepared to pay more for a meal in a location that invests in sustainability.

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has been “condemned” for failing to adopt a global measure to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation. The  ICAO has delayed the adoption of a global approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry and although the EU has said the decision is a sign of progression, many green groups have criticised the ICAO’s decision to delay implementation of a single global market based measure (MBM) for aviation till 2020.

London’s green economy is “bucking national trends” and has continued to grow over the last five years, according to a new report. Commissioned by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the report analyses London’s ‘Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services Sector’ and shows that the sector is now worth approximately £25.4bn to London’s economy. report that ot also reveals that the sector has grown by more than 5% over each of the last two years and more than 9,200 green businesses have employed more than 163,500 people.

New waste regulations in Scotland will be a “shot in the arm” for those in charge of waste management within their companies. From January, almost every organisation in the country will have to recycle its plastic, metal, glass, paper and card. Food businesses that produce more than 50kg of food waste per week will also be required to separate it for collection.  This will make life easier for facilities managers, sustainability officers and ‘green champions’, according to Jamie Pitcairn, a director at consultancy firm Ricardo-AEA and chair or the CIWM business waste and resources strategy group.

From 2015 there will be a 5p levy on plastic carrier bags in large shops in England – the money raised will go to charity not the Government. Wales and Northern Ireland already have similar schemes which have had a dramatic effect in reducing waste and litter – Scotland follows suit in 2014.

British Airways will introduce a £10 charge for luggage that goes into the aircraft hold.

Treehugger has an interesting debate on Waste-to-energy in Denmark: The present and the future – and whether  the burning of “waste” ever be considered sustainable or green – in any way.

Floods have hit the the USA and days of heavy rain have caused severe damage to property and forced the rescue of more than 2,500 people, Boulder County authorities have said. More than 15in (38cm) of rain – nearly half the region’s annual average – has fallen in a single week, according to the National Weather Service. 4 people have died and 80 remain unaccounted for. Officials set up road blocks to prevent some residents fleeing in their vehicles over submerged or debris-strewn roads.The raging torrent – dubbed a “100-year flood” by officials – has prevented rescue crews from reaching communities stranded downstream in Colorado. And in Romania 8 people have died and hundreds evacuated after two months of rain fell on one evening. Further rain is forecast.

The Green vote in Germany has collapsed after the party suggested a vegetarian only meal day once a week – the party was criticised for interfering with personal freedoms and dictating to the public.  After the Fukushima nuclear disaster support reached nearly 30% – its now below 10%. Plans to introduce more 30 kph speed limits and ‘wealth tax’ have further damaged the party’s standing.

Left Foot Forward is hosting a discussion about green growth in the UK – both at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton (23/09) and through Twitter using the hashtag #greengrowth.    Should we drop green growth during austerity? Join the debate on Facebook: How should Labour respond to the cuts, the Energy Bill and fracking? Get your voice heard by commenting on Left Foot Forward and participating using the Twitter hashtag #greengrowth! You can read about this issue  here:

voyager1Good news for badgers: The controversial cull has ended up with less that a fifth of planned deaths in West Somerset – fewer than 100 were killed in the first 10 days of the trial. The target for the cull is 2,081 deaths.

In the USA a group of high tech investors are backing a new egg substitute – Beyond Eggs uses a formula of ground peas and sorghum and the biotech company that makes it, Hampton Creek Foods, already has two products on sale – a mayonnaise and a baking substitute. Backers include Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and facebook billionaire  Peter Thiel. Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams have invested in Beyond Meat which promises a plan based ‘chicken’ substitute.

Treehugger reports that  GMO OMG is the next documentary you want to put on your to-watch list. Coming out on September 13th, the film by Jeremy Seifert explores a topic that ranks up there as one of the biggest of our lifetime, along with plastic pollution and, you know, global warming. Genetically Modified Organisms and omg! what does it mean for our food, our health, and our economy. Specifically, it “explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds.” It asks the rather terrifying question, “Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked?” Check out the screenings list for when you can catch it.

Voyager 1 has become the first man made object to leave the Solar System. Launched in 1977 it is now 12 billion miles from Earth.

By |2016-11-01T15:04:26+00:00September 16th, 2013|AGF Blog|