Monday Interview: Building resilience against illness and climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions are crashing as the world has wound down, with estimates that they could decline by as much as 5% in 2020, the biggest reduction seen since World War II. Such has been the impact of Covid-19 that Goldman Sachs analysts have speculated the world may have already reached “peak carbon” a decade earlier than expected. Serious questions remain as to whether this will have any appreciable impact on climate change, with decades’ worth of CO2 and other greenhouse gases already accumulated in the atmosphere. Still, there’s no denying that the human pandemic has given the planet a chance to pause for a breather. “This is not the way we would want to do this transition,” says professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University. Appointed at the start of this year to head up the new £20 million Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC), the professor has been tasked with one of the thorniest challenges in meeting both UK and Scottish Government targets for carbon reduction. The UK’s six largest industrial clusters by emissions release a combined 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, accounting for an estimated 7-10% of the UK’s annual CO2 emissions. They include Humberside, South Wales, Grangemouth, Teesside, Merseyside and Southampton. Ms Maroto-Valer has until August to submit proposals to turn at least one of these sites into a low-carbon cluster by 2030, with the ultimate goal of creating the world’s first zero-carbon industrial cluster by 2040. This has to be achieved while also safeguarding existing jobs and economies.
Herald 27th April 2020 read more »
Reblogging this as Tim Farron MP has spoken to the Westmorland Gazette saying that we have “misconstrued” his comments regarding non-essential construction. Our comments that nuclear ‘defence’ in Barrow and nuclear construction at Hinkley should not be included as “essential” stand and we urge Tim Farron to rethink his position in supporting the continued construction (involving thousands of workers) at nuclear sites both military and civilian, This nuclear obsession is mad at any time but at a time while others lose their livelihoods with the stated aim of protecting the vulnerable from COVID19 is particularly galling.
Radiation Free Lakeland 26th April 2020 read more »