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< News UK February 2006, > News UK April 2006, News UK February 2008


March Edit

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  • Provisional greenhouse gas emissions figures for 2005 show a fall of around 5% in net emissions of carbon dioxide between 1990 and 2005. Friends of the Earth point out that the figures show CO2 emissions rose again in 2005 (compared to 2004) and "are now higher than they have ever been under Labour." In a statistical release, Defra and National Statistics say that the change between 2004 and 2005 however is smaller than the range of uncertainty associated with the provisional estimate. According to the statistical release: "Emissions of the ‘basket’ of six greenhouse gases in 2005 are provisionally estimated to have been about 14½ per cent below the base year. To meet its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, the UK has agreed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent relative to the base year over the period 2008-2012." The statistical release includes a graph of trends which suggests that although the figures for the basket of gases are favourable in relation to targets, the figures for CO2 emmissions are less so. Defra, FoE / Climate change
  • Environmental Audit Committee slams ODPM’s (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) approach to new housing. The Environmental Audit Committee today published its Fifth Report of Session 2005-06, Sustainable Housing: A Follow-up Report. Tim Yeo MP, the Chairman of the Committee, commented: "Reliance on developers to gradually begin to "do the right thing" we believe is misplaced and is symptomatic not only of ODPM’s reluctance to take on the building sector but also of a fundamental lack of urgency in the Government’s approach to ensuring that new housing and new communities are truly sustainable." Conclusions of the Report include: "We remain deeply concerned that ODPM is determined to build new homes first and then worry later, if at all, about how the supporting infrastructure can be created. The communities that are created as a result of such a short-sighted policy will be anything but sustainable." EAC / South East England
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  • What future for suburbia? Seeking to start a public debate about how we can modernise the suburbs, Demos launches an action plan for suburbia. Demos / Urban & village design
  • Work starts on Manchester’s first urban water park. Located in New Islington, the ‘eco’ park, will incorporate islands, decking, boardwalks and bridges into the design of a boating lake, which is framed by a reed bed. The ‘eco’ park will also feature a beach, a ‘community’ orchard - an idea suggested by local residents, follies and an area of public open space containing a range of trees and wildflowers creating a variety of habitats for wildlife. A mooring "island" will take up to six narrow boats, and the lake will also offer rowing boat hire, paddling, fishing and picnicking areas. English Partnerships / Urban & village design / North West England

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  • Mixed reaction to green tinged budget - Friends of the Earth welcomed "some helpful steps" but said that the Chancellor needed to get more serious about climate change before it was too late. FoE. Greenpeace welcomed the measures on energy efficiency and microgeneration but felt that the Prime Minister's obsession with all things nuclear still threatens to derail progress towards safer, cleaner and cheaper energy. Transport 2000 welcomed the widened differential between the least and most polluting cars but said the actual increase for large engined cars was 'derisory', and noted no move to tax aviation. Transport 2000 / Sustainable energy
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  • "Stronger" code for sustainable homes falls short - FoE. Friends of the Earth say that despite some welcome improvements the `strengthened' Code for Sustainable Homes is unlikely to have a significant impact in tackling climate change whilst still voluntary and does not apply to new commercial buildings. FoE / Urban & village design
  • FoE welcomes call for investigation into supermarket power. Friends of the Earth is concerned about the number of British farmers going out of business as a result of supermarket practices. The environment group say The Office of Fair Trading has accepted the contention that consolidation in the grocery market could be bad for consumers. It has also now highlighted the potential for the planning regime to impact on the high street. FoE / Local needs met locally, Campaigning to save local shops and services

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  • Minister urges action on wasted water. Speaking at a Water UK conference, Mr Elliot Morley urged Water companies to keep their side of the bargain if they want the public to accept water meters as a fairer way of paying for water. Defra / Drought in England and Wales
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  • Positive evaluation of Walking the Way to Health Initiative (WHI). According to the Countryside Agency, the initiative has helped to create over 350 local health walk schemes and trained more than 18,000 volunteer walk leaders. Countryside Agency / Walking
  • Greenpeace backs Decentralising UK Energy / Sustainable energy
  • Defra announces UK and Brazilian Government co-operation on Sustainable Development and Climate change. Defra / Global connections

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  • Action to prevent a mass eradication of badgers. The Wildlife Trusts are urging their members and the public to stand up for the protected species by writing letters in response to a consultation and contacting their MPs before the deadline of March 10. Wildlife Trusts / Biodiversity
  • Bright energy future is possible - FoE. Friends of the Earth today publishes research, `A Bright Energy Future,' which forms part of the organisation's submission to the Government's Energy Review. FoE say it shows that the UK can meet its electricity needs, reduce the need for imported natural gas, and tackle climate change without a new nuclear power programme. FoE / Sustainable energy
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  • Pressure grows for tough UK action on climate change - Stop Climate Chaos's Carbon Speed Dating event links 60 MPs, including Conservative leader David Cameron, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett and Liberal Democrats leader Menzies Campbell, with 650 supporters of the new climate change coalition. Stop Climate Chaos

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  • Best governance arrangements - 3 more local stakeholder events confirmed. Following initial events in Shrewsbury on 7 February and Gloucester on 20 February, Minister for Communities David Miliband will visit:
  • Compulsory water metering in Folkestone and Dover. Folkestone and Dover Water Services' successful application for ‘area of water scarcity' status means it will be able to accelerate its programme of switching household customers over to water meters. Defra / Kent, Drought in England and Wales


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