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September 2007

EMAP Green Week

Think tank calls for easier microgeneration
Planning laws should be revised to allow for easier installation of domestic microgeneration equipment, according to a pamphlet published by independent think tank the New Local Government Network. It suggests councillors should be able to consult with local residents on whether to reduce the amount of planning permission required... more
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Towards a more energy efficient Scotland
An expert panel has been set up to recommend measures to make houses and buildings in Scotland more energy efficient, it was announced this week. Stewart Stevenson, Scotland's minister for transport, infrastructure and climate change, wants new homes to meet the same strict energy standards as in Scandinavia bringing down energy use... more  
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Leeds plans for a greener future
All major developments in Leeds could soon have to be more sustainable and eco-friendly if proposals drawn-up by Leeds City Council are given the go-ahead. The plans for set standards of sustainable design and construction have been put together as part of the council’s commitment to being a greener local authority and to... more
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Green groups say nuclear consultation 'deeply flawed'

Nine meetings held recently as part of the government's consultation process on nuclear power have caused an outcry amongst green groups. The meetings were supposed to help assess public support for plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. Of 1,000 people surveyed at the meetings across the UK, 46% said they supported the continued use of nuclear energy, with 25% opposed the plan. However there was no information available about renewable alternative power sources.

Despite the apparently fairly high level of support the dangers of nuclear power still appear to be causing major concern, with 89% of people worried about safety and 92% alarmed at the prospect of creating more nuclear waste.

The business and enterprise secretary, John Hutton, said: "We have a preliminary view: that nuclear should be able to play a part in providing the energy that we need to keep the lights on and help cut carbon emissions."

However, a number of environmental groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF-UK, CND and the Green Alliance are boycotting the consultation. Neil Crumpton, nuclear representative for Friends of the Earth, said: "There are good options in terms of renewable energy but these were not in the presentations and the delegates were not exposed to them. We were never able to put our side of the case across."

And Director, Tony Juniper, said: "This is not a genuine consultation about nuclear power. It is deeply flawed and it is clear that the Government has essentially made up its mind. We are perfectly happy to debate the issue of nuclear power, but we are not prepared to take part in this latest Government farce.

"Nuclear power is not a solution to climate change. A new programme would only generate around four per cent of the UK's energy consumption. It is expensive and dangerous, and will leave a highly toxic legacy for many generations to come. There are lots of non-nuclear alternatives that would combat climate change, maintain energy security and keep the lights on. The Government should invest in these solutions and make Britain a world leader in developing a safe and sustainable low-carbon economy."

Other reasons for boycotting the consultation include:-

• A lack of clear non nuclear options which would have facilitated informed public debate;

• A failure to provide adequate information about the wider dangers of nuclear power, such as terrorism and proliferation;

• The `consultation' is being rushed through in five months over the summer period, and the NGO stakeholder group participation process has been rushed. The Sustainable Development Commission recommended nine months;

• The Government appears to have already made up its mind to push ahead with a new nuclear programme.

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Work to start soon on Chinese eco city
China's first 'eco city', at Dongtan, is due to commence construction in early 2008. There are also plans for four other new green towns, according to engineering firm Arup, who are overseeing the developments. At Dongtan, to be built on an island outside Shanghai, all energy will be renewable, no conventionally fuelled cars will be... more   back to top

Ireland plans new green town
A new 'green' town to include 16,000 homes is planned for the outskirts of Dublin. The new suburb will be in Clonburris and Liffey Valley, and will offer new residents a direct rail link to the city centre. The houses will also be among the 'greenest' ever built in the Republic, with builders using the most environmentally friendly... more    back to top

Italy boosts solar power
Italy may meet 5-10 percent of its total power needs from solar panels by 2020 as it boosts incentives to develop the sector, the head of an industry association said recently. "Photovoltaic energy may cover 5-10 percent of global power demand in the future," said Gert Gremes, chairman of GIFI, a body grouping... more     back to top 

Shetland's first zero carbon houses
The fight against climate change has received a boost from a Shetland partnership who have pledged to build the isles' first houses with no carbon footprint by the end of next year. The "unplugged hydrogen houses", claimed to be the first in the world, will not be connected to the mains and will solely use wind, solar and renewable hydrogen... more
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Millenium Community ticks all the boxes
The fifth of English Partnership's Millennium Communities at Telford in Shropshire will be ready for its first residents in Autumn 2007. Architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS) have worked closely with developer Taylor Woodrow to address many of the challenges associated with creating high quality sustainable housing. They have come up with... more   back to top



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