Environmental News on this day... for January 2016, 2015, 2012, 2007

Take a trip into the past and see what stories were in the news in January 2016, 2015, 2012, 2007

January 2016

Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

The renewables revolution is now firmly underway in Asia. This week's sustainability news threw up some fascinating figures showing that China has consolidated its position as the planet's leading installer of solar power.

As well as the resulting dietary shift, the four models also revealed a decrease or delayed death ratio from heart disease and cancer

Combined sugar and carbon tax could reduce UK emissions by 19 million tonnes

By combining a sugar tax on soft drinks with a food-based carbon tax, the UK could raise £3.6bn in revenue; reduce carbon emissions by 19 million tonnes annually and increase life expectancy, researchers from Oxford University have claimed.

Wind turbines created enough power to supply more than 100% of Scottish household needs during 6 months of the year

Scotland urged to 'Raise Ambitions' and commit to 50% renewables target

Industry body Scottish Renewables has called on the country to commit to an ambitious new target of generating at least half of its total energy demands from renewables by 2030.

20% of recycling bins in the London boroughs of Newham and Hammersmith and Fulham and 18% of the bins in Manchester were rejected for collection due to contamination issues

Consumer education needed to avoid rising level of 'contaminated' recycling, says WRAP

Waste companies and local authorities have been urged to communicate more clearly with consumers after it was revealed that the amount of contaminated recycling sent to landfill has almost doubled in three years.

Rudd said she had fought hard for an increase in DECC's innovation budget

Rudd: UK must be 'better and smarter' about energy innovation

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has pledged to "light the fire" of energy innovation in 2016, by ramping up investment in research, development and demonstration (RD&D).

 An estimated 15m tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK each year

UK consumers waste twice as much food as they think, Sainsbury's finds

British families squander twice as much money on food waste each month as they think they do, according to YouGov research commissioned by Sainsbury's.

The 10,000+ businesses affected by ESOS are facing total assessment costs estimated at £165m

ESOS deadline day: will another late compliance surge save the day?

Today (29 January) marks the revised deadline day for companies to be compliant with the Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). But with the Environment Agency remaining tight-lipped about compliance rates, speculation is rife that thousands of companies are still flouting the legislation.

The Prime Minister appeared in front of The Commons Liaison Committee, composed of chairs from expert committees in the UK Parliament

"It's total, utter nonsense": Cameron slams climate policy critics

Prime Minister David Cameron "couldn't disagree more" with all of the green groups, industry associations, opposition parties and other political figureheads who have said there is a disconnect between the UK Government's high-level engagement on climate change at the Paris climate conference and domestic energy policy.

The centre in Ireland will be the second energy and cost efficient data centre that Facebook owns in Europe

Facebook to build 100% renewable data centre in Ireland

Facebook have announced plans for a new data centre to be built in Ireland which will run on 100% renewable energy using the country's 'robust' wind resources.

National Audit Office to investigate taxpayer value for money in George Osborne’s scrapping of CCS and question plans to secure UK energy supply

Spending watchdog to examine scrapping of £1bn carbon capture plan

The National Audit Office is to investigate George Osborne's decision to scrap a £1bn prototype carbon capture scheme which cost the taxpayer at least £60m, a letter seen by the Guardian shows.

January 2015

President Obama is in India this week to discuss energy and climate change among other things

Obama in India: What it means for climate action...

President Obama's upcoming visit to India represents a tremendous opportunity to shift the global economy towards low-carbon economic pathways, say experts at the World Resources Institute.

The UK is reportedly on track to hit its electricity targets but has work to do on heat and transport

ED Davey: UK falling short of renewable heat and transport targets

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey has admitted that the UK is in danger of missing renewable heat and renewable transport targets for 2020.

More than 90% of UK suppliers pointed to regulation as the biggest climate risk they faced.

World's most resilient supply chains revealed

UK suppliers are the second most climate-resilient group in the world but have regressed in several areas since last year thanks to 'uneven regulatory support'.

Each person consumes between 2,000-5,000 litres of water embedded in their food

Food and drink firms 'must improve efficiency' to protect dwindling water supply

The food and drink industry must curtail the amount of water used in production to avoid two thirds of the world's population living in 'water-scarce' areas by 2050.

The overall CO2 emissions from cement plants on a per-tonne-of-production basis have fallen by 24.9% since 1998

Rising emissions a wake-up call for construction sector

The UK's aggregates, cement and concrete industry trade body says it will "take the necessary action" to curb CO2 output after a sector-wide sustainability report revealed an overall increase in emissions in 2013.

 From 1980 to 2014, there were 178 'weather events' that cost $1bn or more

Hottest year on record 'bad news for business'

As Nasa figures reveal 2014 was the hottest year on record, the World Resources Institute (WRI) says the soaring temperatures will soon have a heavy cost for businesses.

Zero Waste Scotland aims to promote sustainable fashion.

Scottish fashion designers encouraged to apply for textile fund to aid circular economy

Textile and fashion designers in Scotland are being encouraged to apply for funding from Zero Waste Scotland to help them reduce textile waste.

Toyota will share 5680 fuel-cell related patents, including key components of the hydrogen-powered Mirai (pictured)

Toyota to share fuel cell technology with auto industry

Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced it will freely share all of its hydrogen fuel cell technology in order to spur development of low-emission cars around the world.

The solar farm will offset an estimated 7,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year

Kyocera goes even bigger with world's largest floating solar farm

Electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera has announced the development of a 13.4MW floating solar power plant in Japan which will be the world's largest floating solar array.

FDF's members have reduced emissions by 664,000 tonnes of CO2 on 1990 levels

Food and Drink manufacturers slash CO2 emissions by 35%

Food and drink manufacturers have achieved their target for reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by 35%, way ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the Food and Drink Federation's Five-fold Environmental Ambition.

January 2012

Environment Agency flood defence expert receives MBE

The Queen's New Year's Honours List has rewarded an Environment Agency (EA) planning manager and flood defence expert with an MBE.

Lai Chi Kok drainage project

Atkins tunnelling breakthrough on Hong Kong drainage scheme

UK engineering consultancy Atkins has announced a major breakthrough in design work on the Lai Chi Kok drainage tunnel in Hong Kong.

Sony's aggressive policy on waste reduction is already bearing fruit (Credit: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com)

ANALYSIS: Sony on track to eliminate waste by 2050

Sony Corporation has exceeded its waste minimisation targets across all of its global business sites, achieving a 54% reduction rate in 2010 set against a 40% objective.

VIDEO: Recycled Christmas trees used for flood defences

The Environment Agency (EA) is using discarded Christmas trees in a bid to build 'greener' flood defences along river banks.

Devon County Council gives green light to advanced AD plant

Devon County Council has approved plans for a £15m advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to be built on a redundant china clay refinery site at Lee Moor in the south of the county.

Government's 'weak' waste policy is putting manufacturers at risk

The Government must develop a more ambitious waste strategy if it is to secure future supply of crucial materials to British manufacturing operations.

Judges rule in favour of campaigners in FITs fight

UPDATED: Energy secretary, Chris Huhne, says he will take FITs fight to the Supreme Court after losing appeal today (January 25).

ESS operations manager Steve Harman and commercial manager Peter Hardy

Eco Sustainable Solutions secures waste wood contract

Veolia Environmental Services has awarded organics recycling firm Eco Sustainable Solutions (ESS) with a three-year contract to handle waste wood.

More WEEE being recovered than previously thought

Thousands of tonnes of 'extra' WEEE is finding its way back into the recycling market according to the latest modelling research.

UPDATED:China wealth fund acquires 8.68% stake in Thames Water

China Investment Corporation (CIC) has acquired an 8.68% stake in UK utility company Thames Water, it was announced today (January 20).

January 2007

Ivorian toxic waste victims to seek compensation

British lawyers representing victims of toxic waste contamination that left ten people dead and thousands ill in Cote d'Ivoire have started gathering evidence against the London-based shipping company behind the incident.

Germany reconsiders nuclear phase-out

Germany is reconsidering its decision to abandon nuclear power after a temporary cut-off from Russian oil highlighted its dependence on foreign fuel imports.

The bombing of Beruit and other parts of Lebanon has had a serious environmental impact

War is eco-hell says UN

While a major oil spill might have been the most obvious environmental disaster to come out of the brief exchange of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah last summer, its impact on the region was just the tip of the iceberg according to the UN.

Ethical businesswomen lauded

The achievements of female business leaders who head up ethical companies are to be highlighted in an attempt to reward their good work and inspire others to follow suit.

Even the mighty Ganges struggles to soak up the pollution from India's population explosion and industrialisation

Ganges too polluted for religious gathering

Hindu holy men could boycott a ceremony at the pinnacle of their religious calendar because the Ganges, the focus of the festival, is too polluted to bathe in.

Big business looks to profit from climate change

Business leaders from some of the UK's largest companies have met to discuss how they should respond to the threat of climate change - and what opportunities it could bring.

One for the chop: London's Christmas tree is sent to the chipper

Christmas waste hangover tackled

Christmas may be the season of goodwill but the gift giving and over indulgence also leads to a huge spike in the amount of rubbish thrown out by householders.

M&S to spend £200m on greening its business

News in Brief

The lake could disappear within 200 years despite China pouring over $800m into stopping it from shrinking

Climate change, overgrazing drain China's biggest lake

China's biggest lake could disappear completely in 200 years as overgrazing and global warming take their toll, despite government efforts to stop its retreat, Xinhua news agency reported.

Stern words: economist Nicholas Stern warned the financial costs of failing to nip climate change in the bud would plunge us into a recession worse than the Depression of the 1930s

Environment & Business - Review of the Year 2006

When looking back on 2006 commentators may note that this was the year when environmental issues became mainstream, rather than a fringe concern beyond the interests of every day politics and economics.