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United Kingdom - July 23

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BAA invented ‘green’ jumbo to help win Heathrow case

Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Marie Woolf, The Independent
BAA, the operator of Heathrow, used the low emissions figures of a non-existent green jumbo to help clinch the environmental case for a third runway.

The twin-engine 450-seat “virtual” jet was invented for the environmental modelling required in the government consultation after BAA realised it would otherwise exceed the limit for noise and pollution.

According to BAA submissions, the green jumbo will account for more flights out of Heathrow by 2030 than four-engined giants such as the double-decker A380, or the new generation of Boeing 747s. It promises to be the world’s quietest and cleanest jumbo.

There is just one snag: Airbus and Boeing, the world’s biggest aircraft makers, have no intention of building it...
(20 July 2008)

Green Streets project reduces carbon footprint and energy bills

Paul Eccleston, Daily Telegraph
Families taking part in a greener living experiment have made big cuts in their carbon footprint.

They managed to reduce their energy use by 30 per cent and CO2 emissions by 20 per cent.

Organisers of the Green Streets challenge say if all UK households did the same the UK could save £4.6bn on energy bills.

Green Streets, a year-long social experiment in energy saving, is organised by British Gas and monitored by the think-tank Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), and involves 64 families in eight different cities.

Interim results based on the first five months of the Challenge reveal the best performing households managed to achieve savings on gas of more than 50 per cent.
(23 July 2008)

A recession will give ecological development a new life

Paul Evans, The Guardian
The show homes at the end of a winding, unfinished road feel isolated, stuck in a corner of what remains of Telford's fragmented countryside. The rain is pouring down and there are few builders working. The infrastructure of a major housing development is uncannily silent, and so too is the building site further up the road - and the ones after that. It's not the weather that's holding up work, it's the slump.

This story is being repeated on hundreds of development sites around the country. The economic climate may be as dampening to spirits as Britain's rainy season, but it might not be all bad if you're a lapwing or a bee orchid. It could be an opportunity for people, too...

...The hand-wringing about the economic downturn, it seems, could be turned into a very important, and overdue, conversation about opportunities for communities and the environment.
(23 July 2008)

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