Dates for the Diary

17 05 2010

Tomorrow, Tuesday 18 May, Prof. Carlota Perez will deliver a lecture at the LSE on the “potential of information technologies, the challenges of the environment and the scope for re-specialisation in the globalised economy [to] bring about a sustainable global ‘golden age’.” Click here for full details.

On Wednesday 18 May, the Royal Academy of Engineering is hosting a seminar which will focus on “how to identify current challenges and the potential opportunities for Disaster prevention” in developing countires. Click here for full details.

For a bit of light relief, on the first Sunday of June try the Camden Green Fair.

Likely to update this post over the next couple of days as new lectures, seminars and summer events are confirmed.





“We will Trust but we will Verify”

15 05 2010

President Obama used a well-known Reganism in his message to oil companies on Friday.

For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cosy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency [the Minerals Management Service, MMS] that permits them to drill…It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust but we will verify.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that BP representatives do not regard the Gulf oil spill disaster as the end of deepwater exploration.





“Ee by gum, it’s parky out”

14 05 2010

UKPA – David Cameron has promised to make the coalition the “greenest government ever”. Speaking to the Department for Energy and  Climate Change (DECC), Cameron announced:

The three things I would pick out are first of all the green economy; we’ve got a real opportunity to drive the green economy, green jobs, green growth and make sure we have our share of the industries of the future. Clearly there’s the climate change agenda where we have got to get back on track both nationally and internationally, and third there is the issue of energy security which I think is vitally important and I think we need to do a huge amount of work on.

New Energy Focus – looks at the latest additions to the DECC.

The Mirror – reckons that in the UK we spend six months of our lives talking about the weather!





Quelle Surprise!

13 05 2010

The BBC reports that hospital food cooked with fresh local ingredients may save the NHS millions of pounds every year. Sourcing meat, vegetable and dairy from surrounding areas also means less air/road mileage, carbon emissions and a boost for local producers. It’s a “no-brainer”.





New Government, New Cuts..

12 05 2010

..No, they haven’t started on cutting the budget deficit yet. The Con-Lib coalition today announced its commitment to cut central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within a year.

The press release is on the 10:10 website.





Con-Lib coalition pledge a “low carbon and eco-friendly economy”

12 05 2010

The Con-Lib coalition has agreed on the following environmental priorities for government:

The establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters.

The creation of a green investment bank.

The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.

Retention of energy performance certificates while scrapping HIPs.

Measures to encourage marine energy.

The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard.

The establishment of a high-speed rail network.

The cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow.

The refusal of additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.

The replacement of the Air Passenger Duty with a per flight duty.

The provision of a floor price for carbon, as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits.

Measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.

Measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.

Mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Continuation of the present Government’s proposals for public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months.

An agreement to seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.

Finally, the agreement also lays out a compromise on new nuclear power plants. The Conservatives will allow new plants to be built with the introduction of a planning policy statement, however, no public money will subsidise any nuclear works. The Lib Dems will in turn be able to abstain on any Commons vote on this issue.

Source: better generation





A Colourful Coalition

12 05 2010

George Monbiot – on the blue/yellow-orange coalition:

[B]etter than I had expected. The agreement’s environmental policies are more Lib Dem than Conservative, and more progressive…Let’s see how it works in practice.

Daily Maybe – on the Green Party offering a “comprehensive offer” to disillusioned LibDem members.

Rupert Read – welcomes the Con-Lib plan to scrap building a third runway at Heathrow airport. He also outlines his main reasons for leaving the LibDems for the Greens. For Cllr Read:

We can have prosperity without growth; but we cannot have environmental sanity with growth.

Total Politics – interviews the Green Party election campaign director, Paul Steedman.

Chris Huhne – is to take the Energy & Climate Change post in the new coalition government.