European community MEPs have blocked moves to reduce the continents emissions by 30% against 1990 levels by 2020. Elsewhere UK MPs are set to scrutinise the primary trading method designed to reduce Europe’s emissions. The European Union’s Emission Trading Systems (EU ETS) will be the subject of an intensive investigation by the Energy and Climate Change Committee, chaired by Tim Yeo MP.
Vast tracts of land are being sized in Kenya and converted to farmland for biofuels for the West. Farmers in the Tana Delta have been forced from their land and unique wetlands, habitats and hundreds of rare species of birds are under ever increasing threat from commercial farmers who are producing crops including water thirsty sugar cane and jatropha to meet demand in the West.
British Gas has been fined £1 million after providing misleading information about the amount of renewable energy it is using
A Herefordshire farm will power its chicken production through Anaerobic Digestion (AD) from next month. The Great Ynys Farm will use the waste from chickens to generate a new income stream as a renewable energy generator. And a Devonshire dairy has opened an anaerobic digestion facility to help fuel the production of its clotted cream, ice cream crème fraiche and yoghurt products. The £3.4M AD facility at Langage Farm, Plymouth, will process up to 12,000 tonnes of household food waste, together with on-farm dairy wastes.
Scotland has fallen behind England and Wales on its national recycling performance as it failed to meet a key target to recycle 40% of household waste by the end of 2010. Government figures show that by the end of 2010, only half of Scotland’s 32 local authorities had achieved the 40% figure. The country’s overall recycling and composting rate of 37.8% is below that of Wales (40.5%) and England (39.7%).
A landfill ban on waste wood may have little effect according to new research that suggests that 74% of the waste wood stream is already being recovered. The Government is looking at banning waste wood from landfill under its Waste Review, but the UK Waste Wood Market report says such restrictions may only result in limited additional resources.
As UN talks fail to cut carbon emissions, big businesses and entrepreneurs are striving to find lucractive ‘techno-fixes’ mto combat global warming. To be honest, my gut feeling is that it will all go horribly wrong – it always does when we mess witn nature – but you can make your own mind up after reading this interesting article that looks at geo-engineering and covers seeding the oceans with algae, growing artificial trees, firing silver iodide into clouds to precipitate rain and , genetically engineering paler crops, blasting sulphate based aerosols into the stratosphere and covering deserts with white plastic – all to reflect sunlight. The article is in the Observer newspaper (10th July) by John Vidal and can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/10/geo-engineering-weather-manipulation
Italy, one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, is losing its beaches at a frightening rate. New reports say that rising sea levels and a reduced flow of sediment from river bank erosion caused by hydro-electric dams blocking Italy’s rivers means that many beaches are now under threat. The Tiber used to send 400,000 cubic metres of sand a year into the Mediterranean 25 years ago – its just 80,000 cubic metres now and recent storms have reduced beaches at resorts such as Capocotta and Ostia to a shadow of what they were.