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Getting off gas

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The United Nations’ recently published report on the causes and consequence of climate change was alarming. But it did also clarify the importance and benefits of reducing methane emissions. Carbon Dioxide (the main cause of climate change) and Methane (which is the main component in Natural Gas) behave in different ways:  Methane is a much […]

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Oxcam Arc: an approaching environmental disaster

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If you listen carefully, you can hear the rumble of an approaching environmental disaster. The OxCam Arc is a proposal to build a million new homes and associated infrastructure in a wide arc between Oxford and Cambridge. It has been quietly brewing since 2003, but it recently launched the first public consultation. This is “seeking […]

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Time to talk about inhalers and climate change?

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Last October the NHS announced a carbon footprint target of net zero by 2040. Inhalers, for conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were identified as a priority because more than 10% of the NHS carbon footprint is from inhalers.  This is because the commonest inhaler devices we use, metered dose inhalers, contain high […]

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The Fourth C

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In a recent speech the new Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, listed climate as a potential ‘fourth C’ to add to his three guiding principles of compassion, cooperation and community. We shouldn’t be surprised that a children’s doctor is prioritizing climate action. The climate emergency is after all a health emergency which […]

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Cambridge City Council: net zero by 2030

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It’s good to see that Cambridge City council has recently declared a target to reduce its Direct Carbon Emissions to Net Zero by 2030 and has published a strategy to achieve it. It is important to realise that this target is just for the measurable emissions that are under the Council’s own direct control (e.g […]

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Zero Carbon Development or greenwash?

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Climate Change was identified as the top priority in last year’s consultation on the new Local Plan, and the planners are currently working on the detail before the next stage of public consultation in summer/autumn 2021. In the meantime, Greater Cambridge has been deluged with over 650 speculative proposals for housing developments, which all seem […]

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Working with nature

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Climate Change is happening here and now for farmers. 2020 saw the wettest February followed by the sunniest April and May on record in the UK. These dramatic weather changes affect us all but none more so than arable farmers. Last year saw a fall in yields: for example, the wheat yield was 20% lower […]

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Building bridges

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As the new year dawns, I suspect I’m not alone in craving an end to the angry divisiveness of the last few years. A part of the solution is often simply to be brave and talk to each other.  For example, a few years ago, in the heated aftermath of the Brexit referendum, I found […]

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Clean Energy

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Our choices about what Infrastructure we invest in [ eg power systems, buildings, and transport links] are an important part of getting to Net Zero, because infrastructure is expensive and lasts a long time. It also fundamentally shapes our future options and can create (or block) lots of jobs.  For example, if developers are allowed […]