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Cabinet agrees Climate Change 'Green Deal' - UK 'world leader' in cutting carbon emissions

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The Coalition is expected to announce this week that it has agreed a far-reaching, legally binding "green deal" that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package, reported last weekend in The Observer, will, it is claimed, place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change.

Huhne is now expected to tell parliament that the government will accept the recommendations of the independent committee on climate change for a new carbon budget. The deal puts the UK ahead of any other state in terms of the legal commitments it is making in the battle to curb greenhouse gases.

The new budget puts the government on target to meet a reduction by 2050 of 80% of carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels. The committee has said that to reach this target, carbon emissions should be cut by 60% by 2030.

The article says ministers believe that major companies involved in developing offshore wind technology - such as Siemens, Vestas and General Electric - will now be keener to invest in Britain, knowing it is committed to a huge expansion in renewable energy. It is also hoped that the commitment to renewable energy - the committee says 40% of the UK's power should come from wind, wave and tide sources by 2030 - will stimulate new industries.

These would include the development of tidal power plants, wave generators and carbon capture and storage technology - which would extract carbon dioxide from coal and oil plants and pump it into underground chambers. All three technologies, if developed in Britain, could be major currency earners.

The committee's report says the new carbon deal will require that heat pumps will have had to be installed in 2.6m homes by 2025. It also says that by the same date 31% of new cars, and 14% of those on the road overall, will be electric. Experts say a total of £16bn of investment will be needed every year to meet the commitment, with some of the money likely to be raised through increases in electricity prices.

After City bonuses, the next perk: secure bike parking

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Pip Errington, who runs the ecoXchange site, which features a new procurement tool that puts eco-products, including ICT products, in front of serious business buyers, pointed me to this story in the Evening Standard blogs, which discusses why secure bike parking has become a must-have perk for City financiers before agreeing to switch employers in the Square Mile.

The piece quotes Iain Simmons, assistant transportation director at the City of London Corporation, who says: "One thing I found staggering was when a director of a City business told me about a job interview with an investment banker.

"When it comes to questions, people are saying to them: 'Part of my lifestyle is that I want to cycle to work. Can you guarantee me a cycle parking space, quality shower and locker?' If the answer is no, they are going to work for somebody else who can."

The blog suggests that the City of London Corporation, the local authority for the Square Mile, believes that an extra 27,000 bike parking places are needed after research showed the lack of secure storage stopped thousands of people cycling to work.



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