Heat pumps: have a cosy home without warming the planet

Heat pumps: have a cosy home without warming the planet

Home owners can get help from government schemes but but do they really cut costs?

When Graham Davidson and his wife, Pauline, retired to a bungalow in Norfolk three years ago they ripped out the old boiler and replaced it with an air source heat pump at a cost of £10,000. But this pricey replacement has turned into a moneyspinner for the Davidsons – and millions of British households are likely to follow suit in what is expected to be a revolution in home heating.

Davidson, 68, who used to work in the car electronics business, says it was financial gain rather than saving the planet that was at the forefront of his decision. But dumping the gas boiler has probably cut his household carbon emissions by more than half.

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BP leads energy companies preparing two major UK carbon capture projects

BP leads energy companies preparing two major UK carbon capture projects

17m tonnes of carbon dioxide to be stored beneath the North Sea every year

After decades spent extracting fossil fuels from the UK’s North Sea, a consortium of oil companies is preparing to pump Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions back beneath the seabed to help meet the government’s climate ambitions.

BP has set out plans to lead an alliance of energy companies in siphoning off the carbon dioxide from factory flues under new plans in which almost half the UK’s industrial emissions will be stored beneath the North Sea from 2026.

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What is carbon capture, usage and storage – and can it trap emissions?

What is carbon capture, usage and storage – and can it trap emissions?

Experts look to technologies that inject factories’ carbon dioxide deep underground

Technology that can keep carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere and stoking global heating will be essential to tackle the growing climate crisis, experts say. But how does it work, and why will it make a difference in fighting climate breakdown?

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Britain to get first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from e-waste

Britain to get first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from e-waste

Cheshire-based facility will be world’s first to use bacteria-based recycling processes

The UK is to get its first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from electronic waste, which will also be the world’s first to use bacteria rather than cyanide-based processes.

A New Zealand startup, Mint Innovation, plans to open the facility within 12 months in Cheshire, in the north of England, after delays caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

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‘E-highways’ could slash UK road freight emissions, says study

‘E-highways’ could slash UK road freight emissions, says study

System of overhead cables and adapted lorries could pay for itself within 15 years

The UK could eliminate the majority of the carbon dioxide emissions from road freight by installing overhead charging cables for electric lorries on “e-highways” across the country, a report by government-funded academics suggests.

The plan for a so-called electric road system would cost £19.3bn and put all but the most remote parts of the UK within reach of the trucks by the late 2030s, with the potential for the investment to pay for itself within 15 years, according to the report by the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight. The centre is backed by government research grants and industry partners including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.

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Match Covid-19 economic stimulus with climate fight ambition, urge MPs

Match Covid-19 economic stimulus with climate fight ambition, urge MPs

Influential committees call for bold investments to recover and grow in ‘cleaner and greener way’

MPs have joined growing calls from business leaders and environmentalists for the government to use its post-coronavirus economic recovery plan to accelerate investments aimed at tackling the climate crisis.

The chairs of two influential cross-party select committees have warned the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, that time is running out to “avert an even greater future global crisis caused by climate change”.

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The world wasn’t ready for a Green New Deal in 2009. Today, it may be | Larry Elliott

The world wasn’t ready for a Green New Deal in 2009. Today, it may be | Larry Elliott

There is no easy route to a greener global economy. But since coronavirus hit, politics and business are thinking again

Timing matters. Early 2020 saw an economic collapse the likes of which have not been seen in living memory. Growth has collapsed, unemployment has soared, poverty has increased.

Yet in different circumstances the past few months would have been dominated by calls for countries to do more to cut carbon emissions. As 2019 drew to an end, everybody from the managing director of the International Monetary Fund to the governor of the Bank of England was warning of the threat of global heating.

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UN chief: don’t use taxpayer cash to rescue carbon-intensive industries

UN chief: don’t use taxpayer cash to rescue carbon-intensive industries

António Guterres calls for coronavirus aid to be directed at firms with green credentials

Governments should not use taxpayer cash to rescue fossil fuel companies and carbon-intensive industries, but should devote economic rescue packages for the coronavirus crisis to businesses that cut greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs, the UN secretary general has urged.

“Where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it must be creating green jobs and sustainable and inclusive growth,” said António Guterres, speaking at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, a virtual meeting of more than 30 governments on the climate crisis, which concluded on Tuesday. “It must not be bailing out outdated, polluting, carbon-intensive industries.”

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Coronavirus pandemic threatens controversial fracking project in Argentina

Coronavirus pandemic threatens controversial fracking project in Argentina

Lockdown and oil price slump leave future of vast Argentinian shale project hanging in balance

Whether the post-pandemic world moves back to fossil fuels or forward to a clean economy will become clearer in the coming weeks as the International Monetary Fund and Argentina decide whether to continue support for the vast Vaca Muerta oil and gas fields in Patagonia.

The development aims to tap the second biggest shale deposits on the planet (after the Permian basin in Texas), but its future has been thrown in doubt by the coronavirus lockdown, which has induced the steepest fall of the oil price in 30 years.

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Builder aims to help UK construction industry kick its plastic habit

Builder aims to help UK construction industry kick its plastic habit

Neal Maxwell wants trade to go from 50,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year to zero by 2040

A builder from Merseyside has launched a project that aims to remove plastic from the British construction industry within two decades.

Neal Maxwell, who has worked in the trade for more than 30 years, co-founded the non-profit organisation Changing Streams after a trip to the Arctic.

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