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ANOTHER PLANET?

davosNicolas Stern, author of the UK government’s review of climate change in 2006, has said that he got it wrong on climate change – and its ‘far far worse’ that he though. Lord Stern told the Observer newspaper at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the world was absorbing less carbon than expected, and producing more green house gas emissions, saying that politicians needed to move economies away from energy intensive models towards more environmentally sustainable technologies.

The USA has had droughts and then hurricane Sandy in 2012 – the UK had drought followed by the wettest year on record (and its still raining) – and Australia began 2013 with extreme temperatures – the hottest  ever recorded – now followed by floods. Whilst the odd climate change sceptic like ex UK chancellor Nigel Lawson and bonkers hereditary peer Lord Monckton pedal their worn out nonsense,  and the fossil fuel industries continue to pump the idea that climate change is just a myth – you need to look around you – look at the evidence!

In Davos, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, gave a grave warning over conflicts over food and water resources that would follow a 4C rise in global temperatures saying that extreme weather such as the droughts  that hit the US last year will mean that “there will be water and food fights everywhere” and that the world needed to create a carbon market, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and ‘green’ the world’s 100 mega cities which produce 60-70% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The business case for a circular economy heightened today as yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur joined scores of business leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in a united call to action. Macarthur was speaking ahead of the release of her foundation’s new report into this field, which is being touted as the successor to the highly influential McKinsey study published last year.  Speaking to the BBC , MacArthur said that businesses needed to make the transition from implementing resource efficiency measures towards more systems thinking around product lifecycles

Business leaders must find a way to turn climate crisis into an investment opportunity for sustainable infrastructure, according to a senior figure at the World Economic Forum (WEF). During the WEF talks continue in Davos, Switzerland this week, the forum’s director of climate change & green growth initiatives Thomas Kerr said high-level dialogue was needed to identify ways to channel private capital into green growth. Writing in his blog on the WEF website, Kerr questioned: “How can we deliver sustainable, resilient and low-carbon infrastructure while meeting energy needs and supporting economic growth?”

Finally from Davos, Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has said that ‘climate change is more important than debt – it is potentially more detrimental’. Hmmmmmmmm – very worrying when even those in charge of the world’s money are starting to to realise how bad its going to get!

Mackerel wars spell new agony for the home of UK fishing industry: We can see, to stop over fishing – so what can and can’t we still eat – and what’s left in the sea? Not much it seems – but Observer food critic Jay Rayner gives some useful advice starting with “It used to be straightforward: cod was being overfished, so you knew not to eat it. Bluefin tuna was out of bounds. And don’t even think of ordering the marlin steaks, unless you have the filthy environmental conscience of a natural gas fracking mogul” and lots more here.

ALLOTMENTS3Businesses have pledged to increase the amount of redistributed surplus food generated within their supply chains in a bid to cut down on waste. Edie.net reports that major food brands and retailers have signed up to a new industry working group to explore and support new ways to optimise redistribution networks, most notably through collaboration with suppliers.  The group, which includes ASDA, Boots UK, Kellogg’s, The Co-operative and Wm Morrison Supermarkets, held its first meeting last week to discuss current systems and assess possible solutions to start building a plan of action.

The amount of packaging waste being sent to landfill across Europe has declined sharply over the past 12 years, according to latest figures.  A EUROPEN analysis of official EU data shows that higher recovery and recycling rates are primarily driving this diversion.  In 2010, 76% of the packaging placed on the market in the EU-27 was recovered against 67% in 2005. Meanwhile recycling rates rose from 55% in 2005 to 63% in 2010. During this year, just under 18.7m tonnes of used packaging were sent for final disposal across the EU 27 member states.

It seems fumes from diesel engines are far more damaging than those from  petrol engines. New research published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change reveals that diesel fumes and soot cause more air pollution and are significantly worse for health, including lung disease. Diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines and emit less C02. The European Commission has proposed a package of binding targets on Member States to invest in infrastructure for alternative fuels such as electric charging points for road transport and liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling points for ships.

hedgehogHedgehogs are fast disappearing in the United Kingdom. Numbers have dropped from an estimated 35 million in Britain in the 1950s to fewer than 1 million now according to the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species. Habit loss, climate change and recent wet periods have all contributed to the decline.

Money-saving incentives through the UK’s Green Deal will not necessarily lead to a flood in demand for energy efficiency measures, according to new research.   Published to coincide with the official launch of the Green Deal, interim findings from the VERD project based at the University of East Anglia (UEA), suggest that energy efficiency is rarely the main motivating factor for people’s decisions to renovate their home. Its not helped by the fact that it now appears that promised financial savings may not equate to the cost of the scheme, further putting off consumers. Last December a survey from electrical supplies distributor Rexel revealed that just 17% of business owner respondents were aware that the Green Deal was also applicable to business. However, out of these businesses, 72% planned to make use of a Green Deal loan.

The global fuel cell and hydrogen energy market is projected to be worth over $180m (£114m) in 2050 while revenues in the fuel cell sector are expected to grow by 26% per year over the next decade, according to The 2011-2012 Annual Report on World Progress in Hydrogen.

Tiny sea urchins could help reduce the causes of climate change. They are covered in nickel ions which remove carbon dioxide from the oceans and help them grow. Scientists at Newcastle University say the process could be reproduced on a larger scale to reduce CO2 levels.

 

Tiny sea urchins could