Stricter and lower speed limits, higher parking charges and a five pence per kilometre road pricing scheme are being proposed by the Scottish government as part of a major new offensive to cut the pollution that is disrupting the climate. A key policy report leaked to the Sunday Herald reveals that ministers are also considering big increases in spending on walking and cycling, grants for low-carbon cars, and boosts for buses and trains. A further series of radical plans are being drawn up to meet the ambitious target of cutting climate pollution 42% by 2020. These include a renewed £1 billion-plus home insulation scheme, a massive tree-planting programme, bans on dumping waste as landfill, and moves to force farmers to clean up their act.
Sunday Herald 5th Sept 2010 more >>
It is one of the most important policy documents produced by the Scottish government, and now it has come out of the shadows. The “proposals and policies” report leaked to the Sunday Herald outlines how ministers plan to meet their ambitious target of a 42% cut in climate pollution by 2020. The report contains more than 30 specific measures across several areas of policy, all designed to reduce the emissions that are helping to trigger floods, storms and droughts around the world. It is, by any standards, a hugely ambitious venture that has already received many bouquets and brickbats. It gives a taste of the many battles to come, if the government is serious about making Scotland a truly low-carbon economy.
Herald 6th Sept 2010 more >>
A Scottish start-up believes private industry can make millions of pounds annually, and help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, by selling spare electricity to the National Grid.
Flexitricity has patented technology that brings together the capabilities of standby generators, combined heat and power units and heavy users of power such as commercial greenhouses, cold stores and distribution centres.
FT 6th Sept 2010 more >>
Germany’s government has struck a ground-breaking deal on energy policy that will see the lifetimes of the country’s nuclear power stations extended substantially – and utility companies in exchange paying towards the development of renewable alternatives. Agreement was reached late on Sunday on extending the lifetimes of nuclear power stations by between eight and 14 years according to their age, officials reported. Earlier Angela Merkel, chancellor, had spent the day in a meetings marathon aimed at finding a compromise package to satisfy all in her divided governing coalition.
FT 6th Sept 2010 more >>
BBC 5th Sept 2010 more >>
Germany will extend the life of its 17 nuclear reactors by 12 years on average, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced Monday after marathon talks on the controversial issue. The decision came after 12 hours of talks between senior politicians and forms a key component of the future energy policy of Europe’s largest economy. The lives of older plants will be extended by eight years and those of newer ones by 14 years, Roettgen said, adding that Germany would spend three billion euros annually to develop renewable energy.
AFP 6th Sept 2010 more >>
Claudia Roth, a leading Green party MP pledged a campaign of “nationwide resistance” against the nuclear power extension. Ms Merkel’s conservative liberal coalition wants to prolong the life of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors by up to 15 years in a move which overturns a previous Social Democrat-Green government’s commitment to dispense with all atomic power by 2023 at the latest.
Independent 6th Sept 2010 more >>
A study chaired by the chief economist of the International Energy Agency is making a strong case for the introduction of nuclear energy in Italy. The study, presented Sunday at a business and policy conference on Lake Como, says Italy can diminish its dependency on foreign nations and cut carbon emissions. Carrying out the analysis were experts including ones from Italian energy company Enel and France’s EdF, which last year formed a joint venture to develop nuclear energy in Italy.
Business Week 5th Sept 2010 more >>
Tom Burke: The global effort to reach a legally binding agreement on tackling climate change has stalled. There is little prospect of a quick breakthrough when the negotiators reconvene at Cancun in Mexico in December. Nor is it likely that there will have been much progress by the time they meet again in Cape Town a year later. Nowhere can Developing Nations see an OECD government in which the volume of capital flowing into low carbon energy investments was getting even close to the volume of capital flowing into high carbon energy investments. In politics, as in so many other walks of life, actions speak louder than words and money speaks loudest of all.
Independent 3rd Sept 2010 more >>