EU environment chief: Rio+20 was better than nothing

The EU’s environment chief has effectively admitted the Rio+20 summit last month was disappointing but stressed the agreement was better than nothing. In a speech in Brussels on Wednesday Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Environment said: “Together with my colleagues in the Commission, I have been clear that we would have wanted more. For […]

Rio+20: “Disappointing” or a new direction?

Last week’s highly anticipated Rio+20 summit where 180 world leaders met to create an action plan for sustainable development has been criticised for holding little “concrete action”. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (pictured) claimed Rio+20 gave nations a “new direction” at the closing ceremony of the three-day summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He said: […]

Poor households to get help with water bills

Poorer households could get a helping hand with their water bills under new government guidance published today. After consulting on the plans, Defra has laid out guidance for new “social tariffs” – which give water companies room to introduce new lower tariffs for customers who are struggling to pay their bills. An estimated 2.4 million […]

Paul McCartney and co back Save the Arctic campaign

The Beatles’ musician once sang “Baby, you can drive my car!” But Paul McCartney seems to have changed his tune, today joining a host of other stars in backing a “Save The Arctic” campaign launched at the Rio+20 summit. Hollywood star Penelope Cruz, Virgin boss Richard Branson, American actress Lucy Lawless (pictured) and British boy […]

Draft agreement reached at Rio+20

The 180 nations gathered in Rio+20 have reached a draft agreement on a plan of action, according to UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. Writing from Rio de Janeiro yesterday, where she is part of the UK’s delegation at the UN conference, Ms Spelman admitted some will be “disappointed” there isn’t more in the agreement, called […]

Robert Redford rails against “absurd” fossil fuel subsidy

Robert Redford has spoken out against the “absurdity of subsidising fossil fuels” in the run up to Rio+20, the UN’s conference on sustainable living in Rio de Janeiro this week. Writing on the Huffington Post yesterday, the star of such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men railed against “public […]

LEDs could save 85% energy

Street lights using LED can save as much as 85% energy compared to conventional lighting, according to new research. The study also claims LEDs could save 670 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. The report ‘Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it Means for Cities’ was launched […]

Cameron’s “weak position” on UK energy mix

The Prime Minister has been criticised for his “weak position” on the UK’s energy mix by the Leader of the Green Party. Caroline Lucas MP has panned David Cameron’s remarks at last week’s Clean Energy Ministerial for failing to “show real ambition for our trailblazing renewables sector”. At the summit of at least 20 energy […]