National Trust launches 50% by 2020 renewables plan

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UK: The UK conservation group the National Trust has announced a 50% renewable energy target for 2020. The group, which operates in many sensitive areas of the country including national parks, has been an outspoken critic of wind energy in the past.

It has announced £3.5 of funding for five pilot projects including small hydro, biomass and heat pumps. £35m will be spent on a wider rollout if these are successful.

“A major focus of the programme will be to dramatically reduce the Trust’s reliance on oil from 20 per cent to 3 per cent. This not only protects it from volatile and rising prices, but also reduces the risk that oil spills will pollute water courses, gardens and buildings,” said Patrick Begg, rural enterprises director at National Trust.

Buttermere in the Lake District National Park. The National Trust owns one quarter of the park’s total area (Source: Flickr/Breizh33)

EU: Europe’s climate action chief Connie Hedegaard has vowed to get the bloc’s carbon market, its flagship emissions reduction tool, back on track. On Tuesday MEPs voted against planned reforms to help lift the price of emission allowances and address an oversupply of carbon credits. (The Guardian)

Science: A new study has found that climate change is responsible for more than half the changes detected in the world’s vegetation and human activities for only about a third. They say their work marks a scientific advance, because it has only recently become possible to quantify how far climate variability, human activity or a combination of the two are responsible for what is happening. (RTCC)

Solomon Islands: The Pacific Island’s Agriculture Ministry has said climate change has forced it to overhaul it’s farming practices. The country’s staple sweet potato is no longer growing to its full size because of increased rainfall. (Radio Australia)

Sweden: Utility E.ON and the technology giant Ericsson have announced a smart grid partnership. 600,000 smart meters will allow E.ON to collect 30 times more data than previously to manage the power supply from renewable sources better and help customers cut emissions. (GigaOM)


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