Wednesday 23rd April 2014                 Change text size:

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Scotland ‘on the cusp’ of establishing world’s first ethical finance hub

Scotland may be “on the cusp” of establishing the world’s first ethical finance hub, according to experts in the field. The comments come ahead of a meeting taking place on Thursday between the financial services industry and John Swinney MSP, cabinet secretary for the Scottish government. The Islamic Finance...


Photo: Alex Blackburne

Michael Gove: ‘conservative instinct’ helps safeguard the environment

“Conservative instinct” is at the heart of environmental stewardship, the education secretary Michael Gove said in a speech at Westminster on Wednesday. He added that conservatism was about “passing on what we’ve inherited to the next generation”, and that his role at the Department for Education was not only...


RBS By Elliott Brown via Flickr

RBS reports losses of £8.2bn – and employee bonuses of £576m

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which remains 81% owned by the government, has reported a pre-tax loss of £8.2 billion for 2013. The losses are a result of restructuring costs and misconduct fines. Despite the losses, RBS’s bonus pool is still £576m – a 15% decrease on the...


red brick houses by Alex Pepperhill via Flickr

Green building industry: zero-carbon buildings have ‘vast economic benefits’

The green building industry has urged the government to push ahead with zero-carbon non-domestic buildings, warning that a failure to do so could result in a “loss of global export opportunities”.  The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) said there was a need for clarity in definition on the term...


cigarette By Bruce via Flickr

EU tobacco regulations proposals ‘a victory for public health’

The European Union has issued new guidance to member states on tobacco regulation, including a clamp down on e-cigarettes and packaging. It said that the current directives, which were issued in 2001, needed to be enhanced to strengthen public protection. This follows developments in new scientific evidence and the...


UK Department for International Development via flickr

David Cameron: ‘climate change one of the most serious threats this world faces’

Manmade climate change is one of the greatest threats to humanity, David Cameron said during prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, after he was grilled over climate deniers in his party. After opening the questioning on the subject of flooding, the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband accused Cameron of...


wind China by Nick Cross via Flickr

No link between wind farms and health problems, study finds

Australia’s leading medical research body has found that there is no credible evidence to suggest that wind farms are harmful to human health. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released a draft information paper on Monday that concludes, “There is no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms...


solar Oklahoma by Patrick Moore via stock.xchng

‘Mixed signals’ lead to UK fall in renewable investment rankings

The UK has fallen from fourth to fifth in the latest report from consultancy firm EY showing how attractive a country is for renewable energy investment. Political uncertainty and “mixed signals” have led to a decrease in investor confidence and potentially puts £330 billion of investment at risk. The...


Lonely tree

Green economy ‘fragmented’ despite rising support

Differences in the way governments, businesses, investors and others interpret the green economy poses barriers to sustainable development, according to a new report. This fragmentation means that the benefits are not being felt across the whole of society, the study suggests. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)...


John Prescott by Ninian Reid via flickr

John Prescott to David Cameron: Let’s work together on climate change

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has urged David Cameron to take a leading role in efforts to broker an international climate change deal ahead of UN talks next year. In an open letter to the prime minister, published in the Sunday Mirror, Prescott talks about the role he played...


stephen jones via flickr

UK floods: long-term water management requires ‘clear strategy’, say experts

Some of the worst impacts of the recent floods could have been avoided if the government had used a more forward-looking water management strategy, a group of experts have said. In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph, 17 water management professionals from environmental and planning organisations urge the...


War Office by niai via flickr

UK flooding: military to support ‘urgent’ flood defence inspections

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said that the military has joined forces with the Environment Agency to help it assess damage caused to structures and flood defences caused by the bad weather. The army has already begun looking at the impacts in some parts of the UK that...


vincent nichols by Fr James Bradley via Flickr

Welfare system failing, say Church of England bishops

The Church of England has made one of its biggest political interventions in recent decades, openly criticising the prime minister for presiding over cuts to the welfare system that it says have pushed hundreds of thousands into poverty. In an open letter to the Daily Mirror, bishops from the...


mary robinson by World Economic Forum

Fossil fuel divestment ‘builds capacity and resilience’, says Mary Robinson

Former Irish president Mary Robinson has said the fossil fuel divestment campaign is a “shining example” of what must be done in the fight against climate change. Robinson, the first female president of Ireland and a former UN high commissioner for human rights, also set up the Mary Robinson...


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Campaign groups call for halt to transatlantic trade deal

Campaign groups have claimed that a transatlantic trade deal between the EU and the US will impact on democracy and give corporations more power over a range of issues such as climate change and the environment. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a proposal to create a trade free area covering...


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