Tag Archives: caroline lucas

Another Planet?

Caroline_Lucas_2010Recently re-elected Brighton Pavillion MP Caroline Lucas of the Green Party will be returning to the Eco Technology Show in Brighton this year to chair the important discussion titled “The Future of Energy Efficiency”. She will be joined by a panel of energy efficiency experts including Matthew Farrow, Executive Director of the Environmental Industries Commission, Christoph Harwood, Director of Marksman Consulting, Mike Walker, Sustainable Energy Using Products Team at DECC and Alex Hunt, Partner of The Green Building Partnership. Held on Friday 12th June 2:50pm – 3:50pm, this is just one of over 70 free keynotes, panels and talks spread across the three seminar areas throughout the show. You can see the full talk schedule here. Its free to register.

fde1Up to 90% of the global electronic waste produced each year – worth nearly $19bn – is illegally traded or dumped, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). And the “mountain” of illegal e-waste is exhausting valuable resources and contains hazardous elements which pose a “growing threat” to the environment and human health.
UNEP’s ‘Waste Crimes‘ report found that the electronics market generates around 41 million tonnes of e-waste a year, of which 60-90% is illegally traded or dumped. Interpol estimates that one tonne of e-waste can be sold at around $500 on the black market, thanks to harvestable precious metals . UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said: “We are witnessing an unprecedented amount of electronic waste rolling out over the world.

The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers, a practice slammed as absurd by a presidential candidate given the threat of climate change. A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

airpollutionEnvironmentalists are demanding that the EU close a research fund which they claim offers coal companies tens of millions of pounds of public money in grants. The European commission’s Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) has awarded €144m (£107m) to companies such as E.On UK, RWE Npower and UK Coal Production Ltd, according to research by Greenpeace Energydesk. Most of the the money is spent on mining infrastructure, management and unconventional use of deposits, and on coal preparation and upgrading. Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s chief scientist, said that the fund made little environmental, economic or scientific sense.

Amber Rudd will replace Ed Davey as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s reshuffle of the new Tory Government. The Hastings and Rye MP, who held onto her seat in Parliament in last week’s General Election, has been promoted from her previous position as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The European Green Capital of the year, Bristol, has opened its first-ever community-owned solar farm. The 1.8MW Moorhouse Solar Farm will deliver 1,780 MWh of renewable electricity into the grid each year – enough to power around 430 homes each year – and save 850 tonnes of CO2 a year. The 1.8MW installation park was built by local company Solarsense and funded by Low Carbon Gordano, a co-operative whose purpose is to help the local community to reduce energy costs and become more sustainable.

One in three European birds is endangered, according to a leaked version of the most comprehensive study of Europe’s wildlife and natural habitats ever produced. The EU State of Nature report, seen by the Guardian, paints a picture of dramatic decline among once common avian species such as the skylark and turtle dove mainly as a result of agricultural pressures, and also warns that ecosystems are struggling to cope with the impact of human activity.

Norway’s biggest oil producer is establishing a new business encompassing renewable energy and other low-carbon energy solutions. Statoil, which is the world’s eleventh largest oil and gas company, announced today (12 May) that it is to set up New Energy Solutions (NES); to compliment its existing business and “drive profitable growth” in the green energy market.

Edie.net reports that the renewable energy industry in Northern Ireland has received a welcome boost this week with the launch of a new fully-funded solar solution which could save businesses up to £320m. Kingspan ESB – a joint venture between building technology firm Kingspan and Ireland’s largest energy company ESB will make photovoltaic (PV) energy available to businesses without the investment normally required in the capital outlay, installation or maintenance of a PV system. The funding solution unlocks cost savings of more than £320m over the next 25 years – £5.6m each year – along with significantly improved sustainability and environmental credentials for local businesses.

teaser313_bayer_bees_bundMore than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year, and surprisingly, the worst die-off was in the summer, according to a federal survey. Since April 2014, beekeepers lost 42.1% of their colonies, the second-highest rate in nine years, according to an annual survey conducted by a bee partnership that includes the US Department of Agriculture. “What we’re seeing with this bee problem is just a loud signal that there’s some bad things happening with our agro-ecosystems,” said study co-author Keith Delaplane at the University of Georgia. “We just happen to notice it with the honeybee because they are so easy to count.”

Climate change campaigners reacted with disappointment as Edinburgh University announced on Tuesday that it would not fully divest from fossil fuels. Students lay down in protest on the steps of the building where senior vice principal Professor Charlie Jeffery set out the unanimous decision by the university’s court. Insisting that the university was committed to a change of investment policy, Jeffery said: “Our commitment is to engage before divestment, but the expectation is that we will bring about change by engagement.”  Boris Johnson has rejected a motion by the London assembly calling on City Hall’s pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, arguing the UK needs to press ahead with fracking to avoid being reliant on the Middle East and Russia for gas.  The Mayor of London said that a more realistic approach was needed than divestment, which he called a “sudden cliff edge”.

worldbankCountries could reduce the cost of decarbonisation by a third by enacting green policies immediately, according to a new report from the World Bank. The Decarbonising Development report lays out three steps for countries to follow in order for the planet to produce zero net emission by 2100. The steps include establishing a carbon price, providing support for those most affected by climate change, and setting defined targets.  The solutions exist, and they are affordable – if governments take action today, the report says. It warns, however, that costs will rise for the next generation the longer action is delayed. Data from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report suggests that waiting just 15 more years and taking no action until 2030 would increase costs by an average of 50 percent through 2050 to keep temperatures from rising less than 2°C. “Choices made today can lock in emissions trajectories for years to come and leave communities vulnerable to climate impacts,” said World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change Rachel Kyte. “To reach zero net emissions before the end of this century, the global economy needs to be overhauled. We at the World Bank Group are increasing our focus on the policy options.”

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and BRE’s training body, the BRE Academy, have formed a new partnership to develop sustainability training courses with a focus on the built environment. The agreement will see industry-relevant training courses embedded into Higher and Further Education programmes, as the effects of global warming are felt on buildings and infrastructures worldwide. IEMA chief executive Tim Balcon said: “Training and education provision is a key service which we provide for our 15,000-strong global membership, who are focussed on driving more sustainable practices and standards across all sectors. “This collaboration with the BRE Academy will enable us to offer new skills programmes with a focus on the built environment which plays such an integral part of every business and industry as well as the economy.

ecocideEcocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction:  Recent scientific reports about climate change make grim reading. A paper published in The Economic Journal by the respected UK economist Lord Stern states that the models previously used to calculate the economic effects of climate change have been ‘woefully inadequate.’ They have severely underestimated the scale of the threat, which will “cost the world far more than estimated.” What makes the situation even more serious is that climate change is just one of the environment-related problems we face. Others include the destruction and pollution of ecosystems, the disappearance of other species (both animal and plant), water shortage, over-population, and the rapacious consumption of resources. Now in his book Back to Sanity, Dr Steve Taylor suggests that human beings may be collectively suffering from a psychological disorder (‘humania’), and our reckless abuse of the environment is one of the best pieces of evidence for this. Would a sane species abuse their own habitat so recklessly? And would they allow such dangerous trends to intensify without taking any serious measures against them? More here.

Nearly two thirds of online shoppers now consider ‘green packaging’ when deciding where to shop according to a new poll. The survey of more than 500 internet shoppers, conducted by logistics firm Dotcom Distribution, found widespread support for environmentally-friendly packaging and green supply chain practices. Around 61% of respondents considered green packaging in their shopping choices with 57% saying it is important to them.

The plantable coffee cup

The plantable coffee cup

A new project called Reduce Reuse Grow is hoping to turn a major source of pollution into a positive solution that plants seeds! The project hopes to build a plantable coffee cup that has seeds built into the actual design. Alex Henige, a senior at California Polytechnic State University is the founder of the project, has created a kickstarter page to fund the new idea. Read More HERE. 569 backers have already pledged $21,077 to help bring this project to life – – “A coffee cup that has native seeds embedded within the material to be used for reforestation in your local communities.”

Shell_oil_croppedThe last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a Nasa study. The research focused on a remnant of the so-called Larsen B Ice Shelf, which has existed for at least 10,000 years but partially collapsed in 2002. What is left covers about 625 sq miles (1,600 sq km), about half the size of Rhode Island. Antarctica has dozens of ice shelves – massive, glacier-fed floating platforms of ice that hang over the sea at the edge of the continent’s coast line. The largest is roughly the size of France. Larsen B is located in the Antarctic Peninsula, which extends toward the southern tip of South America and is one of two principal areas of the continent where scientists have documented the thinning of such ice formations.

Environmental groups and experts hit out at the US government on Tuesday following its announcement that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell would be allowed to resume offshore exploration and drilling in the Arctic’s American waters. Unforgiving conditions in the Arctic’s icy waters not only make the chances of a spill likely, the complete lack of infrastructure in place to deal with a potential disaster means the consequences of the move could be calamitous, environmental activists and experts say.

scotlanbdthebrave

 

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ANOTHER PLANET?

maria eagleIn the UK the Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle has said the current Government will put 330,000 more homes at risk of flooding by failing to tackle climate change – making a mockery of Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise to be the ‘greenest government ever’.  Eagle has vowed to make climate change a top priority for the Government if Labour gets voted into power at next year’s general election. speaking at the WWF’s UK headquarters in Woking, the Labour MP said human-induced climate change was “the biggest challenge facing the world today” adding “No sensible government can govern in these challenging times without putting tackling climate change at the core of what they do. It must be done consistently over time, beyond just the confines of one parliament, across all government departments led by the Prime Minister”.

At least 180 people have died after monsoon floods in Nepal and North East India. The authorities in both countries are struggling to evacuate the worst affected villages and air lift in food, water and medical aid.

Fracking news: Hot on the heels of news that environmental campaigners fear that the Barclays Bank backed Third Energy’s plan to drill for gas in Ebbertson Moor in the York Yorkshire Moors will be a ‘stalking horse’ for future bids to carry out fracking in the national park, comes news that some eight pages have been removed from the Department of the Environment’s draft report Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts– seemingly on the basis that the pages detailed the negative impact of fracking on house prices with Caroline Lucas the Green Party MP asking “what are the the economic, social and environmental imopacts and effects upon housing and local services, agriculture and tourism that the Government is so keen to withhold from us?”

The UK’s changing weather and climate have allowed farmers and gardeners to start to experiment with new crops – olives are being farmed in Kent – and bananas are being grown in Somerset – and Scotland will have urs first grapes harvested for wine this year – and sloe berries will have a bumper year.

Whilst a Government survey shows that only 24% of the UK population support fracking (down from 29%) – a energy industry survey says that 57% think tat the UK should produce natral gas from shale. ow so? Well is depends what question you ask – and whilst the DECC survey explained that fracking was a system of pumping water at high pressure into shale and ask if people supported that (and three quarters didn’t) whilst UK Onshore Oil and Gas’s Populus survey  set a framework of energy needs and energy security and now gas could heat the UK’s homes for a hundred years. The DECC survey did show that 79% of the UK population support renewable energy from wind and solar. Support for fracking is dropping: In May last year a University of Nottingham survey found that just under half of the UK supported fracking – and a third opposed it.

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012What is the real cost of promoting renewable energy? Figures from the Renewable Energy Foundation and the DECC say that

£30,000 – annual rental a farmer can expect from a large wind turbine

£900 – annual income from an acre of a solar farm

£115 – annual cost to each UK household to support renewables

£1,7 billion – anmual subsidies for wind farms

£800 million – annual subsidy for biomass

£500 million – annual subsidy for solar

Seagreen , which is planning a £3 billion wind far off the west coast of Scotland is opposing plans for a large solar farm on nearby farmland. Why? Both Seageeen and Tealing Park Solar want to use a disused airfield – and the solar company and farmer Charlie Simmers says that Seagreen is worried that a succesful solar farm may increase land prices across the region – causing problems for Seagreen.

One person has died and more than a million were evacuated from their homes as typhoon storm Halong hot the coast of Japan causing landslides and flooding and major disruption to land and air traffic.

The Panama Canal may be forced to limit the size of ships passing through because of the worst drought in Central America for decades.  The drought has drained the amount of water in lakes feeding the canal as well as the deaths of thousands of cattle and a drop in levels of pwoer available from gydro-electricity – meaning many cities have rationed power as air conditioning use goes up. Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala have also declared a state of emergency in some regions. Last year’s rains in Panama were the lowest in the Canal’s history.  In Santa Cruz in Southern California ‘water cops’ have been employed to catch anyone breaking a hosepipe ban – imposed after three years of severe drought.

Work on the largest local authority rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system in the UK has been completed at the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre in Westbury and will save £1.5m over the next 20 years. The 1,248 panels cover an area the size of more than seven tennis courts and will generate more than 280,000KWh of electricity each year. This is expected to save Wiltshire Council more than £55,000 and reduce carbon emissions by 148 tonnes.  All of the energy will be used on site to power the mechanical biological treatment process used to turn household waste form the region into solid recovered fuel, thus diverting it from landfill.

Perceptions that sustainable buildings are more expensive to construct have been challenged by new research, which has found that achieving lower BREEAM ratings can incur little or no additional cost. The study undertaken by Sweett Group and BRE applied cost data from real construction projects to three case study buildings – an office, secondary school and community healthcare centre – to produce detailed capital and operational cost information.  It examined the actual costs of a range of individual sustainability strategies, plus additional costs (if any) of achieving various levels of overall building sustainability. The research also looked at the associated payback to be gained from reduced utility costs.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced an additional £900,000 of funding for seven local sustainable transport schemes in the UK. The news follows the announcement last month of a £440m fund for sustainable transport, £64m of which is being provided by the Department for Transport the rest coming from Local Enterprise Partnerships and match funding.

Six leading UK universities have launched new energy efficiency research projects today, thanks to a £3m cash boost from the government. Researchers will investigate a range of issues relating to energy management in non-domestic buildings. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), on behalf of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme, it aims to enable UK businesses to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions through more efficient energy use.  Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Southampton will run the projects investigating a range of energy efficiency strategies, from how facility managers can future-proof energy saving improvements to the use of digital cameras to monitor window blinds and lighting to cut occupants energy usE.

Sony Corporation has announced that it plans to sell its flame-retardant recycled plastic to a wide variety of manufacturing business operators such as consumer electronics retailers, both within Japan and abroad The electronics giant revealed that it plans to sell its Sustainable Orientated Recycled Plastic (SORPLAS) to external parties from October.  Its SORPLAS product is a flame-retardant recycled plastic comprising polycarbonate plastic recycled from materials such as optical discs from discarded DVDs and optical sheets used in LCD televisions.

mantaray3The amount of mercury near the surface of many of the world’s oceans has tripled as the result of our polluting activities, a new study has found, with potentially damaging implications for marine life as the result of the accumulation of the toxic metal. Mercury is accumulating in the surface layers of the seas faster than in the deep ocean, as we pour the element into the atmosphere and seas from a variety of sources, including mines, coal-fired power plants and sewage. Mercury is toxic to humans and marine life, and accumulates in our bodies over time as we are exposed to sources of it.

Three top tips for feeding birds this summer:

1.  Put your hanging seed feeders over a paved or decked area where you can keep the flooring clean much less likely to attract other unwanted guests

2.  Don’t forget to fill up your birdbath with good fresh and clean water.

3.  Avoid whole peanuts and large chunks when putting out birdfood – young birds run the risk  of choking.  More at Wriggly Wrigglers

Finally: The European Commission is to build single market for green products. Could this harmonize industry regulations in the EU? The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) pilot, led by the European Commission, is a considerable commitment from prominent industry members in various sectors to lead the way in bringing more sustainable solutions to the market by building the single market for green products, to cultivate universal UPS technology solutions designed to maximise availability, efficiency and capacity within the data center environment. More here.

ANOTHER PLANET?

Vespa_mandariniaIn the UK the House of  Commons Environmental Audit Committee is proposing tough new laws to fight back against foreign species that are invading the UK. The 292 long list of alien invaders includes Japanese Knotweed (which cost the UK economy £165 million in 2013), grey squirrels, the Caspian Sea ‘killer shrimp’ and North American Signal Crayfish that are devastating aquatic ecosystems, the oak processionary moth already found in and around London and Berkshire, and the Asian Hornet which killed six people in France last year – and is on its way here. The total cost of dealing with invading species is estimated at £1.7 billion annually. . Photo of the Asian Giant Hornet:  Gary Alpert at en.wikipedia.

A former oil refinery in Essex has been granted a new lease of life as a new enterprise park developed by Vopak, Shell and Greenenergy and the 400 acre park will the world’s first facility designed to convert landfill waste into aviation fuel. The former Coryton refinery will reopen and create around 1,000 new jobs to rebuild the site and the ‘Green-Sky’ fuel facility is being developed by British Airways and Solena Fuels with plans to convert 575,000 tonnes of post recycled landfill waste into 120,000 tonnes of liquid fuels each year – worth $550 million annually.

The European Parliament has proposed changes to lorry designs that could cut the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed on roads. The new rules will ensure that blind spots are reduced, will have crumple zone and a rounded front that ensures that anyone hit by the vehicle is pushed away and not dragged under the wheels of a lorry.

A coalition of companies from around the globe is urging policy makers to take a number of actions in line with the science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Welcoming the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, 90 UK, EU and international companies, including Acciona, Coca-Cola Enterprises, EDF Energy, Shell, Tesco and Unilever are demanding a proactive policy response to climate change risk through The Trillion Tonne Communiqué, set up by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.  According to the IPCC report, global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change. It found that emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades.  The Report does say that catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards – concluding that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable. “It doesn’t cost the world to save the planet” said economist Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, who led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) team.  The cheapest and least risky route to dealing with global warming is to abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, the report found. Gas – including that from the global fracking boom – could be important during the transition, Edenhofer said, but only if it replaced coal burning.

In related news, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that more than €2bn (£1.6bn) is to be made available for new innovative renewable energy and carbon capture projects. Global ‘clean energy’ investment increased 14% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest research. The research, carried out by data analyst firm Clean Energy Pipeline, showed the sector totalled $61bn (£36bn) in the first quarter of 2014, up from the $53.4bn invested in the corresponding period in 2013. And the United Nations (UN) has launched a 10-year plan, which aims to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide. The Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) strategy plans to provide universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and share renewable energy globally.  Announcing the launch in New York yesterday, Secretary-General’s Special Representative on the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative Kandeh Yumkella called on the private sector to innovate and invest in order to help reach the initiative’s three objectives by 2030.

And Drax is likely to receive a E300 million grant from the European Commission for a carbon capture and storage project with the support of the British government. Drax’s White Rose project could become Europe’s first advanced CCS plant.

Giant inflatable wind turbines that float in the sky to generate electricity will be tested in Alaska next year. Altaeros Energies, a US company, has developed four prototype helium filled devices that channel wind to turn the turbine and generate power – capturing a stringer and more reliable wind source in the sky.

Edie.net reports that Lord Smith has said that the winter floods have highlighted the danger of building on floodplains and underlines the need to continue improving flood defences to cope with extreme climate. The Environment Agency chairman told an audience at the Royal Geographical Society that there needs to be a continued commitment from Government and partners to investing in flood defence maintenance. He also told the audience that more widespread use of individual property flood protection measures and a higher priority given to flood risk in national infrastructure planning is needed.

IKEA has announced its largest global renewable energy investment to date, purchasing a 98 megawatt wind farm in Illinois, US. The wind farm is expected to generate up to 380GWh of renewable energy each year – the equivalent amount of electricity to meet the needs of 34,000 average American households. However in the UK The wind industry has responded angrily to a statement from Eric Pickles, The Communities and Local Government Secretary that he will be extending his period of pulling in decisions on renewable energy projects for planning control a further 12 months.

blackfishNumbers of people attending the SeaWorld’s popular US centres between January and March have dropped, from 3.5 million in 2013 to 3.05 million this year, a decline of 13% – the reason being say woldlife campiagners is the effect the documentary film Blackfish has had.  The film tells the story of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau who was killed by Tilikum, a bull orca. The killer whale, it was also revealed, had been involved in the deaths of other individuals while in captivity. Blackfish focuses on the distress experienced by killer whales who are depicted as complex, highly intelligent creatures which are taken from their families, kept in small pools and given psychotropic drugs to calm them and help them perform tricks that include balancing human trainers on their snouts, rotating in the water to pop music, waving their flippers and tails, and floating on their backs. The film triggered widespread public outrage against marine parks in general and a petition, signed by 1.2 million people, was handed into the California state assembly calling for a ban on killer whale shows. Earlier this month, a bill legalising the ban was put on hold for the next 12 months. Campaigners are still hopeful it will be enacted next year. More on the Guardian website here http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/visitors-turn-backs-on-marine-parks

kiss the skyWith all the recent controversy surrounding captive orcas, Ann and Nancy Wilson decided it was high time to celebrate the wild ones. Heart –  joined by Special Guest Graham Nash – and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts headlined a historic concert in Seattle at EMP Museum’s spectacular “Sky Church” on Earth Day, April 22nd, to benefit wild orca research and advocacy. Joining Heart and Graham Nash were Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Country Joe McDonald, acoustic cellist Jami Sieber, and musician and activist Andrew Morse. Also on the bill for “Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert” was the extraordinary up-and-coming singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso Arielle and the Emcee was  legendary radio personality Norman B – and it was all streamed live.

orcaAnd the fate of the captive orca Morgan has been decided by the Dutch Courts with the appeal court in Den Haag saying that under the current law, the orca will not be freed. The Free Morgan Foundation said: “Despite overwhelming evidence provided by world renowned orca researchers, scientists and advocates, as members of the Free Morgan Foundation, the best interests of Morgan have not been met. It has been designated that she will be sent to a life of permanent captivity in a barren concrete tank. Realistically this is nothing short of a death sentence for Morgan as orca in captivity only live an average of 8.5 years, compared to more than 50 years in the wild. It is disgraceful that a country such as the Netherlands, known around the world for their humanitarian and animal welfare compassion, should have allowed this to happen. Clearly, ulterior motivations such as money and entertainment have presided over the welfare interests of Morgan.”

Edie.net reports that UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has launched a brand new scheme to let customers recycle their Easter egg packaging, in a bid to divert household waste away from landfill. The supermarket will be the first retailer in the UK to unveil a specially designed Easter recycling facility in store. Customers will be able to recycle all elements of Easter egg packaging, including plastic, film, card, foil and ribbon.

clucasCaroline Lucas, the UK’s only Green Party MP. has been cleared of obstructing a public highway and breaching an order under S14 of the Public Order Act. The MP and four co-defendants were charged after fracking protests at Cuadrilla’s drilling site in Balcombe, west Sussex, last August.  Lucas said their arrests were the result of “oppressive policing” and that protests were the “lifeblood of democracy”. The Green Party are currently polling just 2% of the national vote but have seen their share rise to 14% amongst students – the third biggest share after the Labour and Conservative parties and ahead of both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.  (Youthsight).

“Sustainability is an engine for growth ……. and sustainability d0es not have to revolve around trade offs and sacrifices. In the political and public debate, sustainability is often presented  as a choice between prosperity today and the sustainability of tomorrow. The transformational leaders demonstrate that smart investment, targeted at the challenges of tomorrow, can be turned to an advantage today” (The Business of Environment by Peter Lacy and Rob Hayward, RSA Journal, Issue 1 2014).