ANOTHER PLANET?

free the arctic 30Damon Albarn, Dame Vivian Westwood and Jude Law were just three of the thousands of demonstrators across the UK who have demonstrated in outrage at the piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace protesters. In the autumn chill, hundreds gathered outside the Russian Embassy in London, with other demonstrations in Edinburgh, Swansea, Bristol, Liverpool and Southampton. The thirty include Kieron Bryan, a freelance videographer, and five activists from the UK, Philip Ball, Anthony Perrett, Frank Hewetson, Alexandra Harris and Iain Rogers.

Thank you geese. Thanks you swans. Migrating pink-footed geese and whooper swans have forced Cuadrilla Resources to retreat from one of its fracking sites in Lancashire. This battle may have been one … the war is most certainly not.

SumatraRhinoHornbill (1)Ecuador’s parliament has voted to drill for oil in virgin rainforest in the Yasuni national park. President Correa said that he would nor authorise drilling if rich countries contributed $3.6 billion to his impoverished nation. They didn’t –  in fact pledges worth just $13 million turned up – so after a 10 hour debate MPs backed his plans to start drilling in two areas – a move designed t protect the remaining environment and local tribes – but the President stressed that the oil revenues could exceed $22 billion and that only a fraction of the National Park would be affected.  the Yasuni Natinal Park was established in 1979  and covers over 1 million hectares in the Western Amazon.

In Africa both the UK Government and The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have expressed grave concern about plans to drill for oil in the continents oldest national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 7,800 sq km Virunga national park was established in 1925 but Soco International has begun an aerial survey for oil. Total also have concessions from the Government but have agreed to respect the Park’s boundaries. The Park is home to 200 of the last few remaining Mountain Gorillas .

Orangutan3-226x300Another effort to raise money to protect what’s left of our natural world. A conservation organisation called Hutan wants to buy a corridor of 100 acres of rainforest to protect the habitat of Orang-utans – at a cost of about £1 million – and they are already committed to protecting and restoring  the rainforests in Borneo. More on Hutan here http://www.hutan.org.my/about/

Melting sea ice is causing problems for caribou: The declining levels of sea ice in the Arctic and global warming means that plant growth in Greenland is now earlier in the year – too early for migrating caribou as nutrition has already peaked by the time the caribou calve – and a study by Penn State University says this may be adding to a decline in infant births and higher mortality rates.

Sharks have bee around for 400 million years – but maybe for not much longer. An estimated 38 million sharks are killed every year – mostly to have their fins cut off for shark fin soup – and more that 60 species of shark are endangered or vulnerable. Only 11 species of shark have ever been implicated in fatal bites on humans but films such as Jaws have heightened our fear of sharks.

The increasing introduction and overlap of energy and carbon reduction schemes is “causing business concern”, according to a consultation response to the UK Government’s proposed Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). Recently submitted by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the response, developed in collaboration with 150 energy and sustainability professionals, acknowledges the value of energy audits especially for those new to energy management.  However, there are concerns about further regulation from many professionals within businesses already reporting on greenhouse gases (GHGs), within the CRC or other compliance schemes.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has called for the UK Government to approve its fourth carbon budget in the New Year to avoid further investor uncertainty. Ahead of the CCC’s final recommendations on the review of the 2023 to 2027 carbon budget, committee chairman Lord Deben announced that there is no “legal or economic justification to change the budget”.  The fourth carbon budget was designed to reflect the cost effective path to the 80% emissions reduction target by 2050 subject to the impacts being “manageable”.

Edie.net reports that more than 50 mayors from 30 countries have affirmed their commitment to scale up climate actions. With the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report confirming man-made climate change, cities and regions came together at the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change on Saturday to affirm their commitments, urge engagement with the global level on climate change, and enhance access to finance.  Signatories of The Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change include the Mayor of Boulder, Colorado and the Mayor of South Delhi.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has said solar PV energy will be “central” to the growth of renewables in Britain, at the launch of the Government’s much anticipated solar roadmap. The new Solar PV Energy Roadmap sets out how the Government will work with businesses and industry to build on the growth seen in the solar industry in the last two years. Installed solar PV capacity has increased ’25 fold’ since the end of 2010.

Hot on the heels of news that The UK sent 1.69 million tonnes of organic waste for treatment by anaerobic digestion (AD) last year, while a further 5.85 million tonnes was composted comes news that the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has appointed Chris Holmes as the new managing director for waste and bio-energy. Holmes joins GIB from Dutch bank NIBC where he led the Capital Markets division of the Infrastructure and Renewables business and managed their UK origination and advisory practice. Also in the news, MP George Eustice has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs at Defra after Richard Benyon stepped down.

Carillion is planning a second major cost-cutting programme at its energy services contracting arm as work planned under the Government’s lacklustre Green Deal initiative fails to take off. The firm said it was still finalising the scale of the next round of job cuts but expected streamlining to result in a £40m one-off cost.

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