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ANOTHER PLANET?

o-SEA-SHEPHERD-CONSERVATION-SOCIETY-570The Huffington Post report that shocking new undercover images have shown the distressing moment a pod of Pilot Whales were slaughtered in a cove in Japan. Trapped with no escape, the helpless creatures are pictured clinging close to one another as they spent their remaining few hours together before being dragged to shore and butchered. The animals endured hours of suffering before finally succumbing to an agonising death, animal rights groups said.Today, the few remaining whales were forced to swim in the blood of their family members, with horrific images from The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society showing baby whales desperately swimming beside the butchered corpses of their parents. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/12/sea-turns-red-with-blood-_n_3913901.html

The UK  Government must commit to a low carbon transition or risk competitor nations leap-frogging the UK’s lead in global green markets, new research shows. Analysis by think tank Green Alliance concludes that the UK’s global competitors now have more ambitious development programmes for growing low carbon business.  It says that although the UK remains in a strong position, lack of political leadership and focused delivery threatens to undermine UK competitiveness in lucrative and fast growing international markets.  In related news, the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) said that the Government must streamline overlapping policies that deter energy efficiency investment and establish it as a priority in the UK’s energy debate.

gndAnd the Green New Deal campaign group has urged the UK to invest £50bn in a greener economic recovery and ‘de-toxify’ the economy.. The Group, which includes Green party MP Caroline Lucas, economist Ann Pettifor,  Charles Secrett, former director of Friends of the Earth; Jeremy Leggett, chairman of green energy firm Solarcentury, Larry Elliott, economics editor of the Guardian and tax expert Richard Murphy, says the need for an alternative approach is greater than ever and says £50bn should be spent on technology, cheap housing and insulating homes – Under an alternative plan in the Green New Deal report, the government would invest £50bn into expanding green technologies over five years, building low-cost housing, and employing a “carbon army” to insulate hundreds of thousands of homes and reduce energy use – to create more sustainable growth and better-paid jobs and equip the country for a low-carbon future. The authors suggest their pro-growth policies could be paid for by scrapping the controversial HS2 rail project; cracking down on tax evasion; and launching a fresh round of quantitative easing.

The Welsh Government has announced that Wales is achieving a 52% recycling rate, surpassing England by around 10%. According to Zero Waste Wales, the average figure of 52% recycling announced yesterday, however, is disguising the fact that some authorities in Wales are actually achieving over 60%.

Chancellor George Osborne today highlighted the important role of renewables and nuclear, while commending the oil and gas industry for its continued contribution to the British economy. Addressing delegates at the Offshore Europe Conference, the Chancellor paid tribute to an “industry that will continue to play a vital role in the UK economy”, but said he recognised that the oil and gas remaining in the UK Continental Shelf will be “increasingly difficult and more expensive to extract”.  Despite this, Osborne made it clear that the Government is committed to providing the industry with adequate funding to ensure extraction projects continue.

Edie.net report that some of the biggest brands in skincare including Clarins, Estée Lauder and Superdrug, as well as ‘ethical’ brands Jason skin-care and Avalon skin-care, have today been criticised over links to deforestation. Environmental campaigners have condemned the companies following the publication of a new survey which links them to the destruction of tropical rainforests.  Carried out by the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and Ethical Consumer magazine, more than 25 of the UK’s biggest skincare companies were surveyed on their use of palm oil or its derivatives, a key cosmetic ingredient.

Berlin-based search engine Ecosia aims to turn green niche products into a mass phenomenon by providing users with green information when entering search terms.

margate‘Margate – We’re sorry’ was the message from Southern Water after it was fined £200,000 for Environmental Permit breaches that led to raw sewage being discharged into the sea at Margate. The incidents, which Edie.net report date from between January and June 2011, have been attributed by Southern Water to defective pumps at its Foreness Point pumping station. The failure of the pumps meant that sewage could not be pumped to Weatherlees Works for treatment and was instead discharged into the sea off Margate. The £200,000 FINE was imposed last week at Canterbury Crown Court after the company pleaded guilty to the charges back in July. At that time, the case, brought by the Environment Agency, was referred to the Crown Court as the magistrates felt their powers of sentence were not high enough for the offence.