Mankind is a “plague on the Earth” according to the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Sir David gave a bleak warning that humanity needed to cut its numbers of face the prospect of famines as the world population approached 9 billion by 2050 adding “until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet, it’s going to get worse and worse”.
Mackerel has been taken off the ‘fish to eat’ list in the United Kingdom after concerns about stocks. The Marine Conservation Society said that its decision has been prompted by over fishing.
Pamela Warhurst, the Chairwoman at the Forestry Commission, has left her job after Environment Secretary Owen Paterson demanded a more robust approach to the ash dieback crisis. Mrs Warhurst was a former Labour council leader and a board member of Natural England, and was appointed at the end of the last Labour government.
Seventy percent of companies believe that climate change has the potential to affect their revenue significantly, according to research published today by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Accenture.
Prominent environmental campaigner Tony Juniper has been appointed as the first President of the Society for the Environment.
Home insulation has been a moderate success story in the UK, with 10.09 million homes with loft insulation in 2009 rising to 14.72 million in 2012. Cavit wall insulated homes have risen from 9.98 million to 12.7 million. But now Briitsh Gas is scrapping its programmes to insulate an estimated 40,000 homes in the UK. The insulation, was was going to be funded by one of those bonkers schemes called CERT – BG thought it would miss its targets under CERT so decided to take on the extra insulation, but then realised it was cheaper to buy ‘credits’ from other energy companies who had exceeded their targets. All together some 84,000 planned insulations have been lost from BG and other energy company schemes. Note to Government – all of these schemes – carbon credits, carbon trading – whatever – are USELESS. The move comes as the UK Government tries to encourage home owners to borrow to insulate under the Green Deal energy efficiency programme.
Businesses generating their own energy can create new revenue streams, reduce exposure to price uncertainty, benefit from government incentives and help ensure long-term revenue structures, says EDF Energy. The energy company predicts that the renewable generation market in the UK is set to double over the next five years to reach the 75TWh mark – a contribution of roughly 20% of the UK’s total generation capacity – as the cost of technology comes down and a larger volume of accredited projects come online.
Adoption of fortnightly waste collections has a positive impact on recycling rates and household behaviour, new UK research has shown. Findings from a study carried out at Southampton University challenges the thinking behind Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ efforts to encourage councils to revert back to weekly waste collections. The results also contradict claims made just last week from a leading reprocessor that the economics for commingling stack up far better than kerbside sorting due to the high volumes that can be achieved.
Airlines will generate up to €1.3bn (£1.1bn) in profits in 2012 by taking part in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), according to a new study. Commissioned by the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) and carried out by the consultancy CE Delft, the study also shows that EU airlines would take the lion’s share (€758m) of these extra gains, which is almost twice their estimated €400m profit for 2011.
Edie.net reports that the effect of soot on global warming could be about twice as much as previous estimates have suggested, a study has found. According to the first comprehensive analysis of the issue, soot, technically known as black carbon, is the second largest man-made contributor to global warming. The study, co-led by the University of Leeds and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, has revealed that black carbon has a warming effect of about 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2). More at http://www.edie.net/news/6/Influence-of-soot-on-climate-change-greatly-underestimated/23859/nl
IT’S A FRACKING WASTE – What Wastes Enough Energy to Power 2.5 Million Cars and Can be Seen From Space? Well, its the gas that is wasted from Fracking – up to one third of all the gas extracted is just burnt off – Treehugger explains more here (photo: NASA).
A leading reprocessor has backed commingled waste collections, arguing that the economics stack up far better due to the high volumes that can be achieved compared to kerbside sorting Edie.net report that Chris Dow, CEO of Closed Loop Recycling – a plastic bottles reprocessor – said that commingled methods deliver up to three times as much materials, and that these higher quantities effectively deal a “killer blow” for kerbside sort collections.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has strengthened its consumer-facing campaign activities on food waste in the wake of a hard-hitting report released last week from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers study that revealed up to 2 billion tonnes of the world’s food production is going to waste each year – which has prompted the retailer to focus its efforts on encouraging customers to think more wisely about how they buy and use food. Its latest campaign ‘Make your Roast go Further’ will support shopper efforts to create a further two family weekday meals from every Sunday roasting joint. A new online portal, the ‘Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint’ campaign will offer advice and tools for businesses to reduce losses and waste along the entire value chain of food production and consumption. It is being led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), and harnesses the expertise of UK organisations such as WRAP.
More on food waste: Restaurants waste almost five times more food than the average UK household – an amount deemed “unacceptable” according to our friends at the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). While hundreds of restaurants have taken steps to reduce food waste, the industry average remains high at half a kilo per diner. The SRA has called on the industry to take action and clamp down on these wasteful habits. SRA chief Mark Linehan said the sector as a whole must do more and added a bug thumbs up for the ‘doggy bag’ saying “restaurants should also make diners feel more comfortable about asking, and diners should feel free to ask to take home leftovers from a meal for which they have paid”.
BMW and Toyota have joined forces to bypass the stalled market for lithium battery charged electric cars, with the aim to get hydrogen fuel cell powered car on the road by the end of the decade. They are also close to agreeing a deal to develop so called lithium air batteries.