ROUND-UP: edie looks back on 2011
Here is a look back at the top environmental news and events covered on edie for 2011
The UK makes an agreement with China to formally work together on low-carbon growth, with Chinese vice president Li Keqiang signing a Memorandum of Understanding during a visit to the UK.
2011 was predicted to be the year of the electric as the Government’s new Plug-In Car Grant begins this month, offering grants of up to £5,000 for certain models of car. Perhaps, still a way to go on this one
The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee warn that the Government’s proposed energy rules could lead to new ‘dash for gas’, arguing that the rules could delay critical investment in renewables and other low carbon technologies, making the UK’s climate change targets impossible to achieve.
Water regulator Ofwat reveals water and sewerage prices for 2011/12 will see bills in England and Wales rise by 4.6%.
Japan is left devastated after the country’s worst earthquake since records began hits the north-east coast causing a massive tsunami to rage crushing everything in its path. This triggers a state of emergency at the Fukushima nuclear plant after its reactors are damaged.
Chancellor, George Osborne announces the allocation of an extra £2bn for the Green Investment Bank (GIB), sets a carbon floor price – a move designed to force suppliers of energy to buy a certain amount of their raw power from low-carbon sources and slashes VAT on petrol prices – to the annoyance of petrol producers.
EU emissions up 3% as recession eases
European Union carbon emissions increased by slightly more than 3% last year as the continent’s economy improved.
The UK is missing renewable energy generations targets by a ‘large margin’, according to
research by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), which claims the UK failed to reach its 10% renewable electricity target for 2010.
Energy use during the Royal Wedding was greater than energy managers had predicted, according to figures released by the National Grid. A surge in TV viewing meant the Royal wedding became the fourth highest energy sapping event in UK television history.
The waste and energy sectors are unveiled as early beneficiaries of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), along with offshore wind and non-domestic energy efficiency as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg reveals these three areas as “possible early priorities”.
Environment secretary Caroline Spelman unveils the Waste Review, which receives a mixed response with industry dismayed at its “lack of ambition”, but SMEs more supportive as they receive easier access to affordable recycling.
The government reveals plans to build eight new nuclear power plants across the UK by 2025, with the plans, laid out in the finalised Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs), following a public consultation.
The ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers round on the Government’s electricity market reforms by saying they will force up energy bills.
The Water White Paper should be out around now…
New edie reporter hits the ground running
Will Parsons hangs up his DIY Week boots to become edie managing editor and edieWater editor
England & Wales Waste Regulations comes into effect, requiring businesses to apply the Waste Hierarchy
Pickles disappoints industry by announcing that £250m of additional funding will be made available to councils which switch back to weekly collections.
A story featuring naked protestors is the most read on edie this year, racking up several thousand hits. Well if it’s what the readers want.
Government calls time on the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme, slashing returns by 50%, resulting in a back-lash from the solar industry.
edie hears what you have to say about this year’s Autumn Statement
Presented by star of stage, radio and screen, Marcus Brigstocke, the awards at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in London saw more than 300 environmental pioneers gather together to celebrate sustainability, with Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Coca Cola among the many winners on the night.
EdieWaste editor Maxine Perella’s twitter account edieWaste is ranked sixth in list of 100 top sustainability influencers on Twitter, rewarding Maxine deservedly as carrying a ‘waste torch’.
The Government unveils its energy efficiency Green Deal scheme, which includes plans by the Treasury to commit £200m in incentives. The scheme, unsurprisingly, receives a mixed response from industry.
A legally binding deal was signed at COP17 after concerns by major emitters India, China and the US were eased. The deal has been hailed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a ‘breakthrough on the future’ of the international emissions and backed by the UK’s government.
EdieEnergy’s roving editor flies out to Canada to report on its solar industry, visiting the world’s largest solar park.
The long overdue Water White Paper makes it out before the close of the year, with environment secretary Caroline Spelman doing the honours. Setting out plans to reform the UK water industry in line with meeting increasing environmental and water stress demands the paper issues a number of consultations due to be carried out in 2012.
Looking ahead to 2012…
2012 Olympic Games
With a pledge to be ‘most sustainable’ games yet, 2012 organisers have set themselves an epic task. With brands such as Coca Cola on board to provide sustainable PET bottles and plans in place for the park to use recycled wastewater for flushing toilets only time will tell if it creates a ‘lasting legacy’ for the UK.
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