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History of climate change re-written with release of Russian data
March 19, 2012 03:44 PM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
The history of a changing climate has been officially re-written following the release of new data from Russia and bases within the Arctic Circle. Scientists have now calculated that 2010 has overtaken 1998 to now be the warmest year on record, followed in second place by 2005 as 1998 is pushed into third place. The recalculation of the annual global mean temperature records follows the release of weather data from more than 600 locations around the Arctic Circle.
Europe steps up challenge over China's rare metal restrictions
March 14, 2012 10:50 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
The European Union today launched a second challenge of China's export restrictions on raw materials including 17 rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum, that are critical in the development of green technology. Together with the US and Japan, the EU formally requested dispute settlement consultations with China in the World Trade Organization (WTO). This follows a successful EU challenge at the WTO on similar restrictions for other raw materials earlier this year. "China's restrictions on rare earths and other products violate international trade rules and must be removed. These measures hurt our producers and consumers in the EU and across the world, including manufacturers of pioneering hi-tech and green business applications" said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
Edinburgh named home city for Green Investment Bank HQ
March 13, 2012 10:11 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
Edinburgh has won the competition to be the home city of the headquarters of the world's first Green Investment Bank, the UK Government confirmed today. The Scottish capital beat off 31 rival bids to be announced the HQ location, with the GIB's main transaction team based in London. Business Secretary Vince Cable said locating the bank across the two cities will enable the GIB to become a world leader, playing to the strengths of both capitals. He added: "Harnessing the strengths of Edinburgh and London will support the Green Investment Bank's ambition to become a world leader. Edinburgh has a thriving green sector and respected expertise in areas such as asset management. London, as the world's leading financial centre, will ensure that the GIB's transaction team can hit the ground running. This decision will allow the GIB to operate effectively and achieve its mission of mobilising the additional investment needed to accelerate the UK's transition to a green economy." Scottish Secretary Michael Moore welcomed the news, and added: "I am delighted that the Green Investment Bank will be headquartered in Edinburgh. Scotland has enormous green energy potential and its capital is the UK's second biggest financial centre. The size and scale of the UK's single energy market ensures the level of investment that will unlock Scotland's renewables future, providing sustainable and affordable green energy across the UK. It makes perfect sense to have a GIB presence there."
Drought-hit England announces first wave of emergency measures
March 13, 2012 08:52 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
The first emergency measures to support the drought-hit south of England were announced today in an attempt to preserve dwindling water supplies. Seven firms - Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East - jointly announced the introduction of water restrictions from April 5, just before the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. They said it was a result of two unusually dry winters which have left waters well below normal levels. The bans will forbid hosepipes and sprinklers from being used for gardening, washing cars, filling pools and for fountains.
Huge Solar Storm hitting Earth
March 8, 2012 07:03 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
NASA scientists are warning that Earth will be bombarded today by the first wave of a massive solar storm that erupted from the surface of the Sun on Wednesday. A huge wave of solar radiation will strike Earth this morning after travelling through Space at speeds of 1,300 mph. The flare could result in a severe geomagnetic storm, causing aurora, or the Northern Lights at low latitudes, with possible disruption to high frequency radio communication, global positioning systems (GPS), and power grids.
Diesel Exhaust linked to cancer
March 3, 2012 06:47 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
Heavy diesel exhaust (DE) exposure in humans may increase the risk of dying from lung cancer, according to two new studies released this week. Starting in the 1980s, studies have investigated a possible causal relationship between exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer. In 1989, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel exhaust as a probable carcinogen. To determine the association between diesel exhaust exposure and the risk of dying from lung cancer, Michael D. Attfield, Ph.D., formerly of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in Morgantown, West Virginia, Debra T. Silverman, Sc.D., of the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues, conducted a cohort study of 12,315 workers in eight underground nonmetal mining facilities, called the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study.
New UK strategy looks to reduce costs of offshore wind power
March 2, 2012 09:22 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
A new strategy to co-ordinate links to offshore wind farms has been published which could reduce the cost of connections by up to £3.5 billion. Energy regulator Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have today published a report showing how more co-ordination in the development of offshore links and infrastructure can be achieved.
European nations will have to set legally binding targets on energy efficiency
February 28, 2012 04:44 PM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
European countries will have to set themselves legally binding national energy efficiency targets, and save energy by specific means such as renovating public buildings, under a draft EU directive approved by a European Parliament committee today. The new directive would not only save energy, but also reduce CO2 emissions, and hence demand for emission allowances under the EU's emissions trading scheme, notes the Energy Committee. Energy efficiency can become a driver of the EU economy by reducing dependence on imports, creating jobs, freeing up financial resources, boosting competitiveness, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has set itself the task of achieving 20% primary energy savings in 2020 (currently a non-binding target), but the Commission estimates that if no measures are taken, the EU will only achieve half of that by 2020.
Fire at UK Biomass Power Plant triggered by a single spark
February 28, 2012 06:57 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
Fire investigators believe a spark from machinery triggered the huge fire that swept through Europe's biggest biomass power plant yesterday. Firefighters spent more than 15 hours tackling the fire at the Tilbury power plant on the banks of the River Thames in Essex. The damage is understood to be widespread and fire chiefs believe it will take a further two days to remove the embers of the wood pellets that fuelled the blaze.
Global CFC ban and unintended consequences
February 27, 2012 06:54 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
The Montreal Protocol led to a global phase-out of most substances that deplete the ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A happy side-effect of the gradual ban of these products is that the Earth’s climate has also benefited because CFCs are also potent greenhouse gases. However, now a "rebound effect" threatens to accelerate the rate of global warming. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have been used in recent years in increasing quantities as substitutes for CFCs, are also climatically very active and many are also extremely long-lived.