Top Stories

February 07, 2013


Industry leaders collaborate to advance sustainable biofuels

BA, DONG Energy, and Clariant are among seven leading biofuels developers to launch a new industry initiative to promote advanced biofuels in Europe. The 'Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels' group aims to boost research into emerging technologies, such as fuels derived from algae, develop global sustainability certification with suppliers, and establish financing to support sustainable biofuels technology. The companies, which also include Chemtex, BTG Biomass Technology, Chemrec, and UPM, said that ‘second generation’ biofuels made from agricultural residues, waste, algae or woody material can reduce GHG emissions by almost two thirds, and are more sustainable than crop-based, ‘first generation’ fuels. (Business Green)

UK Government invests £50m in wind farms

The UK Government is buying a multimillion pound equity stake in a series of wind farms. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is spending £50m on six wind farms through a "cornerstone" stake in the renewable energy fund, Greencoat UK Wind. Some of the farms are being bought outright, while others involve a stake of less than 50 percent being purchased from two of the ‘big six’ energy companies, RWE and SSE. Greencoat UK Wind is seeking to raise £205m and has already been backed by BIS (£50m) and SSE (£43m) itself. (Guardian)

European Parliament backs ban on fish discards

Reforms to the EU's fisheries policy, including a ban on discards and greater control over the fishing of endangered stocks, have gained the backing of the European Parliament. MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the reform package, with 502 supporting the measures and only 137 voting against. The reforms still have to be approved by the European Council of member states, but green groups today hailed a major victory for the long-running campaign to tackle over-fishing and end the practice of dumping unwanted fish to comply with quotas. (Business Green, Guardian)

Social Business

Google launches digital skills initiative for charities

Google has launched a free initiative designed to help 30,000 small or medium-sized charities boost their fundraising by improving their digital skills. ‘Grow Your Charity Online’, run in partnership with the Media Trust and the Charity Technology Trust, offers training, workshops and live events. The initiative is aimed at charities in the UK with annual turnovers of £1m or less. Participating organisations will be taught how to use the internet to increase their reach, expand their fundraising and improve their engagement with volunteers. (Third Sector)


Report highlights impacts of high consumption of meat

The farming sector has welcomed a report which links the high consumption of meat to global water scarcity and urges the public to place a greater value on their meat intake. Published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Food Ethics Council, the report claims that high meat consumption is associated with a number of factors including climate change, obesity, water scarcity, land use change, global poverty and inequality. According to the report, reducing meat consumption could potentially be beneficial for people's health, the environment, and for producers and consumers. (Edie)

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