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article imageFunding to explore impact of ‘green energy’ on nature

By Tim Sandle     Jul 9, 2015 in Environment
London - Green energy has many advocates, but do some projects harm the natural world? A research foundation is investing $3 million to explore future scenarios for U.K. energy to see how groundwater and natural habitats would be affected.
As part of a project called the “Valuing Natural Capital programme,” NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) is investing £2 million ($3 million) to assess the impact of green energy (or ‘low carbon’) projects on the water and woodland.
NERC exists to “to promote and support…long-term environmental observation and monitoring and related post-graduate training in environmental and related sciences.” The organization is funded largely by the U,K, government, although it is operationally independent.
The new project will look at the impact of initiatives like wind farms and wind turbines on the natural environment. Many wind turbine devices have a large footprint and this could have an impact on the natural environment. At the same time, the U.K. has tight targets to reduce carbon emissions and the government is keen to explore alternative energy sources. The outcome of the review is expected early into next year.
In related climate news, a report by the Committee on Climate Change has examined progress about the U.K.’s carbon emission targets. The view of the government appointed working party is that progress is behind schedule and that the U.K. needs put in place faster measures to prepare for the impact of climate change.
As reported by the BBC, the committee is calling upon the government to:
Extend funding for low-carbon electricity generation to 2025
Continue support for efficient, low-emission vehicles
Develop new infrastructure that is resilient to the impacts of climate change
Act to counter the decline in productive farmland.
In another part of the U.K., the devolved Scottish government, participating at the July 2015 World Summit: Climate and Territories event in Lyon, has signed up to an initiative called Under 2. This plan draws together regional and devolved governments and asks them commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions 80-95 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050; or, alternatively, achieving a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050.
More about Green energy, Wind power, Wind turbines, Carbon, Climate change
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