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EU countries don't want British pollution blowing their way! London air pollution - view from Hackney 10th April 2015. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

MEPs may veto 'dirty Britain' Brexit deal

Charlotte Burns, University of York

2nd February 2017

MEPs have signalled that any Brexit deal that allows Britain to scrap the environmental laws it has signed up to as an EU member faces veto, writes Charlotte Burns. They are not prepared to countenance a bad neighbour 'dirty Britain' just off the EU's shores, nor to see the EU's environmental progress undermined by unfair competition. more...
Photo: FromSandToGlass via Flickr (CC BY).

Exposed: Coca Cola's big 'fight back' against tackling plastic waste

Maeve McClenaghan / Greenpeace Energydesk

2nd February 2017

A Greenpeace investigation has exposed the massive efforts of global food and drink giant Coca Cola to defeat popular proposals to require deposits on single-use plastic bottles, writes Maeve McClenaghan. In fact, deposit schemes are working fine in many countries in which the company operates - it's a simple case of corporate profit before environment, oceans and wildlife. more...
Can the UK's countryside and those who farm it survive the twin assaults of Brexit and a trade deal with the USA? Photo: KayYen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brexit and Trump trade deal spell doom for our 'Green and Pleasant Land'

Kate Parminter

31st January 2017

Leaving the European Union and reaching a trade deal with President Trump's US would create a perfect storm for UK farmers, writes Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Kate Parminter, with new EU tariffs, reduced subsidies and drastically lower standards. The changes would also pose a serious threat to our natural environment, food quality and public health. more...
Coming in to land at Heathrow Airport. Photo: Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Heathrow: Government may ignore its own climate advisors

Damian Kahya / Greenpeace Enerrgydesk

30th January 2017

Newly published letters show that the UK Government may ignore the Committee on Climate Change, its official advisor on climate, and allow emissions from aviation to soar at an expanded Heathrow airport, writes Damian Kahya. Instead it would rely on buying widely condemned 'carbon offsets'. more...
Could your household gas come from wildflower rich meadows, like this Culm Grassland at Knowstone Moor, Devon? Photo: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere via Flickr (CC BY).

It beats fracking - but can we believe Ecotricity's vision of 'green gas from grass'?

Almuth Ernsting

27th January 2017

Just imagine: gas for your cooking and heating made by composting home-grown British grass, writes Almuth Ernsting. What's not to like? Well, it would need almost all the UK's grassland to match our gas demand, leaving cows and sheep to starve or forcing them into sheds to eat foreign-grown feeds. And methane leakage could easily wipe out any climate benefit. more...
Lord Chris Smith, chairman of both the ASA and of the pro-fracking Task Force on Shale Gas, who provided the ASA with evidence in a contentious case involving Friends of the Earth. Photo: ASA website.

Lord Smith's conflict of interest: why we cannot trust the ASA on fracking!

Tony Juniper

18th January 2017

2017 began with bang for Friends of the Earth, writes Tony Juniper, with a hostile media blitz orchestrated by the fracking industry and abetted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). But the storm, over alleged errors in an FoE leaflet about the hazards of fracking, reveals nothing so clearly as the disgraceful conflict of interest at the top of the ASA itself. more...
The Sizewell B nuclear plant rises above RSPB's Minsmere nature reserve. Now, where's Sizewell C's 1,600 m3 a day of extra mains water demand going to come from? Photo: Tony Sutton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sizewell C consultation: EDF 'forgets' to mention 600,000 m3 a year of mains water

Peter Lux

23rd January 2017

In its second consultation for the EDF's planned Sizewell C nuclear power station there's a strange omission, writes Peter Lux: that the plant would use 1,600 m3 of mains water a day, adding to stresses on important local wetlands like RSPB's Minsmere reserve. The omission is not just strange - it's also illegal and could make the entire exercise invalid. more...
Ever seen one of these? Nor have most people, even though they are required by law in public buildings: a typical Display Energy Certificate. Image: via compliance365.co.uk.

Shame on the UK government: ignoring its own energy efficiency laws

Andrew Warren

25th January 2017

The UK's abject failure to implement national and EU laws on energy efficiency in buildings is a disgrace, writes Andrew Warren, and one that is costing us dear in higher fuel bills now and for long into the future, while adding to air pollution and climate change. more...
Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!

Anna Bowen

9th January 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution. more...
CDC's development model in microcosm? Girl begging outside McDonalds outlet, India. Photo: Jon Ardern via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

UK's 'development for profit' private equity arm set to grab £6 billion of aid funds

Global Justice Now

10th January 2017

A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law. more...
The Brixton Road in South London, already in breach of its NO2 pollution limits for 2017 on the 6th January. Photo: Nico Hogg via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

London breaches air pollution limit for all 2017

Oliver Tickell

6th January 2017

Days into the 2017 pollution limits on the Brixton Road in Lambeth, South London, has already breached EU pollution limits for NO2 for the entire year. Meanwhile UK sales of diesel cars - one of the main causes of NO2 pollution - reached record levels in 2016, reflecting the government's failure to tackle the problem in spite of numerous court orders. more...
The bottom line: post-Brexit, will our countryside be richer, or poorer, in wild-flower meadows like this one near Silsden in West Yorkshire, England? Photo: Steven Feather via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Four essential 'green lines' for Brexit negotiators

Viviane Gravey, Queen's University Belfast

5th January 2017

Will the UK keep Theresa May's promise to 'leave the environment in a better state than it found it' in the Brexit negotitions? Or is the government bent on the 'bonfire of red tape', including environmental protections, demanded by right-wing former and serving ministers? Viviane Gravey sets out four 'green lines' by which to judge the Brexiteers' true colours. more...

uk: 25/50 of 1123
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VC Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina, showing the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. An AP1000 Toshiba / Westinghouse reactor is under construction, much delayed, on the same site. Photo: SCE&G via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Long-promised nuclear revival has run out of steam

Paul Brown

4th January 2017

A legacy of lies and covered-up accidents has left nuclear energy with a serious credibility gap, writes Paul Brown. But poor safety is only the beginning of the industry's problems. With 'new improved' reactor designs all running late and way over budget, any nuclear revival can only be sustained at massive, unaffordable taxpayer cost. more...
A closeup of the fireball and mushroom cloud from the Upshot-Knothole Grable atomic bomb test in Nevada, 25th May 1953. The 1950's and '60's bomb tests, we can now calculate, caused uncounted millions of cancer deaths. Photo: Federal Government of the Uni

The 'Genetics' letter, the Euratom suicide clause, and the death of the nuclear industry

Chris Busby

15th December 2016

The Lifetime Study of Japanese A-bomb survivors is a monumental fraud which deliberately excludes controls for being 'too healthy', writes Chris Busby. Put them back in, and you find that low levels of radiation cause over 100 times more cancer than they are 'meant' to, creating a silent global massacre of the innocent. Under the Euratom treaty, the entire nuclear industry must now be 'rejustified'. more...
Greenpeace's 100% subsidiary Frack'n'go! sets up its rig in Parliament Square beneath the windows of the House of Commons, 9th February 2016. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to give the chop to fracking: FraXit now!

Professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell

19th December 2016

Fracking has no social licence in the UK, will contribute little to the economy, will have a huge adverse impact on other sectors, will be a disaster to climate and the environment, and won't even improve energy security, write Peter Strachan and Alex Russell. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside? Let's FraXit now! more...
The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites.

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood

13th December 2016

While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant. more...
White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album), Parc de Woluwé, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Frank Vassen via Flickr (CC BY).

Vital EU wildlife laws saved! But will UK keep them after Brexit?

Oliver Tickell

7th December 2016

Two key wildlife laws that underpin nature conservation across the EU will be retained intact, the EU Commission announced today after an 18 month review that generated record public engagement due to fears that they would be weakened. Now campaigners are determined to ensure the UK retains the laws post-Brexit. more...
A shining example of community renewables - the 'Solar Settlement' in Freiburg, Germany.  Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Responding to populism: we need more politics in energy, not less!

Natalie Bennett

7th December 2016

To secure the clean energy transformation for the long term we must get the good news out there, writes Natalie Bennett - driving forward a popular movement for warm, comfortable homes, affordable fuel bills, community renewables and thriving local economies. more...
Bovine TB is above all about the cows themselves, and on-farm biosecurity (or the lack of it). Cattle in a farmyard in Pancross, Wales. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY).

Badger cull free TB eradication in Wales and Northern Ireland? The science demands it!

Lesley Docksey

6th December 2016

Al available science indicates that badgers have little if anything to do with bovine TB in cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. This is reflected in Wales's consultation on its 'refreshed TB Eradication Programme'. We must hope that Northern Ireland's bTB Eradication Strategy will be equally science based - and ready to campaign hard if it relies on cruel, ineffective and expensive badger culls. more...
Solar roof at Moor Hall Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, completed on 1st November 2012. But with government policy changes and now a new 'solar tax' on commercial property installations including schools, there's no longer much to celebrate. Photo: Birm

Chancellor - stop the solar tax hike!

Solar Trade Association

5th December 2016

Next April the UK government proposes to increase taxes on self-consumed solar electricity installations on schools, offices, warehouses and factories by a whopping 6-8 times, write the STA and undersigned. This inexplicable move, which threatens a once thriving solar industry already on its knees, must be abandoned. more...

Cold Winter, Cosy Home

Mukti Mitchell

30th November, 2016

Mukti Mitchell, period home insulation expert, who last week won the 2016 ‘Devon Environmental Champion' award for his work insulating the heritage village of Clovelly, says now is the time to make your old home cosy for winter more...
A recent demonstration in the British Museum to denounce BP's sponsorship. Photo: Kristian Buus / Art Not Oil.

In the age of Trump, Big Art must cut off Big Oil!

Chris Garrard

29th November 2016

With Trump denying climate change and threatening to reject the Paris Agreement, it's more important than ever for society to hold a firm ethical line, writes Chris Garrard. The last thing we need is our most revered museums and galleries muddying the water by courting the sponsorship of leading climate criminals. more...
Scottish beaver seen in 2008. Photo: Paul Stevenson via Flickr (CC BY).

Scotland's wild beavers win legal protection

Oliver Tickell

24th November 2016

The Scottish government has announced that its wild beaver populations will be given the full protection of both UK and EU law. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners who point out all the benefits of beavers to biodiversity, water management and flood control. Now, they say, England and Wales should follow suit. more...
No place for dumping radioactive waste: mud flats near Maldon, Essex on the Blackwater Estuary. Photo: Mark Seton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No to Bradwell's 'secret' radioactive discharges to the sea

Chris Busby

2nd December 2016

Magnox has applied to dissolve spent nuclear fuel canisters and release the liquid into the sea near Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex, writes Chris Busby. This will wash radioactivity onto mudflats in a populated area already suffering from excess cancers, however the publicly available documents ignore this key fact. We must make sure this dangerous application is refused. more...
Caleb Behn. Photo: Caleb Behn / Fractured Land.

Caleb Behn: 'After oil & gas, no amount of money can restore your fractured land'

Jen Stout

24th November 2016

The jobs and quick money that fracking can generate may seem initially attractive, indigenous Canadian activist Caleb Behn told Jen Stout on his recent visit to Scotland. But after decades of oil and gas production, the ineradicable legacy is of fractured landscapes and long-term pollution. 'My land is bisected, divided, by pipelines, roads, well sites, pads, all that. It's really hard on my heart.' more...

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