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ANOTHER PLANET?

“Green jobs at risk from ‘Tea Party’ Tories” – OK, sounds like the thread of our blog “The excellent economics of green” which basically took a swipe at the muddled right wing approach that seems to suggest green investment isn’t good for the economy – and the ongoing frustration that we have that too many right wing politicians may talk about ‘common sense’ or business sense, but actually have precious little knowledge or experience of either. But it’s not from us – it’s from  Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey  who criticised a ‘Tea Party’ tendency amongst Conservative MPs who question climate change and green investment – unsettling an industry that could do much to lift the UK out of the economic doldrums.  More here – in the Observer .

Shell is facing mounting criticism over its failure to clear up two large oil spills in the Ongoniland area in the Niger Delta. The UN, Amnesty International and the Nigerian Government have all voiced their concerns but lawyers acting for 11,000 affected villagers say that “a comprehensive clean up is yet to get under way and and the creeks remain extremely polluted”.  More here .

Over 2,000 people had to be evacuated as forest fires sweep through areas of Valencia in Eastern Spain with a 10km front of fire. 6 municipalities were affected and 600 fire fighters were involved. In the UK persistent heavy downpours have swamped much of the country with some areas experiencing a whole month’s rainfall in just 24 hours. With a number of flood alerts in place, almost four inches, of rain fell in some areas the Met Office said in the worst September storms for 30 years. And then the rain moved to Spain – areas of southern Spain previously crippled by drought faced massive storms and record rainfall – some areas being deluged by 20cm + in 24 hours resulting in flooding and widespread damage.

One million Irish buildings need to undergo energy upgrades by 2020 in order to meet EU legal requirements, according to a survey. The survey was carried out by the Sustainable Energy for the Rural Village Environment (SERVE), an EU funded project based in Tipperary. Findings also indicated that the economic crisis means fewer people feel that the environment is a priority.

The introduction of wirelessly charged electric buses in Milton Keynes could cut 500 tonnes of tailpipe CO2 emissions and reduce bus running costs by £12-15k a year.

Less than one-third of textiles thrown away each year in the UK are recovered for reuse or recycling, according to latest research.  New studies released by WRAP suggest that if just 10% of ‘black bag’ textiles waste was recovered, it could unlock £23.8m in revenue.

A Scottish whisky distillery is set to become the first in the world to have its waste by-products converted into biofuel in a pilot demonstration project. Tullibardine, an independent malt whisky producer in Perthshire, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Celtic Renewables which has developed the technology to produce biobutanol from the process.

High-speed rail networks have the potential to deliver massive carbon benefits but only if backed by bold Government policy initiatives and the right development choices, concludes a report commissioned by three UK environmental bodies. Edie.net report that carbon emissions from making a trip by high-speed rail 2 (HS2), if it was already built, would be 73% lower than making the equivalent journey by car and 76% lower than flying. Those are the headline figures in a report on HS2 carried out for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), RSPB and the Campaign for Better Transport.

Innovative ideas around the circular economy will be rewarded under government plans to accelerate progress in this area. The Government has announced it will invest up to £1.25m to improve the resource efficiency of UK companies in working towards a low-carbon economy. Tied with this, the Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will run a national competition and offer funding for feasibility studies into the re-design of products, components and systems to retain material within the economy over several cycles of use. More at http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?src=nl&id=23230