Matthew Ames, 38, who used famous names, including James Middleton, the brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, Jack Charlton and Sir Rodney Walker, and quotes from Tony Blair and the Prince of Wales to promote bogus “ethical investments” and persuade people to part with £1.2 million to fund a lavish lifestyle, now faces a custodial prison sentence after being convicted at Islelworth Crown Court of scamming investors out of £846,000 in a bogus Sri Lankan teak tree plantation scheme and £430,000 to buy bogus carbon credits through his business – Forestry For Life. Ames had denied two counts of fraudulent trading during a near six-week long trial.
Better news – our friends at the End of The Road Festival have launched a scheme to support planting more trees in FESTIVAL WOOD – our reforestation project with Trees for Life in Dundgreggan, Scotland. And these are real trees – we know that for sure – because we have planted some of them ourselves!
Train manufacturer Bombardier, who have won the £1 billion contract to make trains for London’s Crossrail project, ensuring the future of manufacturing at its Derby plant, has said that it now has planning permission to cover the roof of its wing assembly factory with solar panels – five hectares of panels the size of six football pitches – and will install a gasification plant to use waste to produce energy.
The global warming ‘pause’ which some climate change sceptics (the headless chicken brigade) have taken as evidence that climate change is a myth could be explained by a dramatic increase in the amount of heat absorbed by the Pacific Ocean. A new report published in Nature Climate Change from the University of New South Wales says that the increased speed of the easterly trade winds blowing from South America to Australasia over the last two decades means more warm surface water is pushed down into the Ocean, leaving cooler surface water, which can then absorb more heat.
Morrissey has called Prince William a ‘Thickwit’ and accused the royal family of hypocrisy after it was revealed that William has flown off on a hunting trip just days before taking part in a high-profile campaign to highlight poaching and the illegal wildlife trade with his father, Prince Charles. Accompanied by his brother, Prince Harry, the second in line to the throne flew out to Spain to shoot wild boar and stag at an estate in rural Cordoba owned by one of the wealthiest men in Britain, the Duke of Westminster. The princes are reportedly frequent visitors to Finca La Garganta, which is one of the largest and most exclusive hunting estates in western Europe. In a video message which launches their anti-poaching campaign and the threat posed to that wildlife by organised criminal gangs which slaughter animals for their tusks or horns or other body parts, Prince Charles, said that the numbers being killed are “staggering”: nearly 100 elephants killed every day – a rhinoceros killed every 11 hours – a wild tiger population which, a century ago, numbered around 100,000 and which, today, has been reduced to an estimated 3,200.
The Scottish Government has defeated Donald Trump in a legal battle that has involved the tycoon challenge plans for a new offshore wind farm in Aberdeenshire. Trump has been opposed to the construction of the £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) since plans were approved in 2011, which would have “negative impact” on the view from the US tycoon’s golf course. Trump launched a legal case last year against the Scottish Government who approved plans for the project put forward by Vattenfall, Technip and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG).
UK clothing powerhouses including Tesco, Next and designer Stella McCartney are among 53 retailers, suppliers, charities and recyclers in the textiles sector who have committed to significantly reduce the environmental impacts of clothing across its lifecycle. Led by WRAP, the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) has unveiled the SCAP 2020 Commitment targets today (11 February), pledging a significant 15% reduction in carbon, water and in waste to landfill, plus a 3.5% reduction in waste arising, per tonne of clothing by 2020. WRAP states that on average, the UK consumer buys about 27 items of clothing a year with the average household spending £1,700 on clothing. SCAP signatories represent 40% of the UK clothing market based on retail sales value. To date 29 signatories and 24 supporters have signed up, including 12 retailers and 15 charities, recyclers and collectors. And British retail giant Primark has announced a commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain. Signing up to Greenpeace’s global detox campaign, which is calling on brands to phase-out toxic chemicals from their supply chains, Primark follows major retailer Burberry, who announced the same commitment two weeks ago.
A very interesting article in the Guardian by John Harris: On climate change, Ed Miliband must match his bold words with real action – saying while Tory ranks contain so many ‘deniers’, Labour can now lead the way in bringing the planet’s fate to the top of the political agenda – “It’s not about Nigel Lawson, or pantomime-villain deniers: they will stick to their script no matter what, and sounded just as daft before the great deluge of 2014 as they have in the midst of it. No, if anyone is going to carry the can for the fact that climate change vanished from public discourse just as the weather was definitely turning strange, it is surely the politicians who once banged on about its urgency, and then suddenly went quiet.” More here .
As news breaks that two members of Pussy Riot have been arrested in Sochi, apparently whilst just walking along the street although equally maybe for stealing a handbag (although they had announced a planned protest), more disturbing news that environmental campaigner Evgeny Vitishko has been jailed for three years after breaching the parole terms of a suspended sentence – his original crime was painting a slogan on a house that activists say was built illegally on national park land. Campaigners say there have been repeated infringements and violations of environmental law during the build period for the winter Olympics. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, has already met local people to discuss Vitishko’s case, and raised the matter with the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.