End of a short-haul era?

Posted by bex — 1 October 2008 at 4:10pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers at Newquay

Greenpeace volunteers at Newquay airport in March 2007

You might remember that, 18 months ago, we set up ticket exchanges at airports across the country, and called on British Airways to show genuine leadership instead of launching new, unnecessary short haul routes that just add to the huge threat to our climate caused by runaway aviation growth.

Do you want to make cars less polluting? Now's your chance

Posted by jamie — 28 August 2008 at 3:26pm - Comments

While congestion charging schemes to control CO2 emissions from traffic are proving controversial in London and elsewhere, there's a chance we might see some action in Brussels on this problem very soon.

Mundo Cars drive down mondo fuel use

Posted by jamie — 25 July 2008 at 3:16pm - Comments

While our own drive to drastically improve car efficiency changes gears, there are of course plenty of other people trying to get the message across. One such group, Mundo Cars, isn't the new line of Slovakian automobiles it might appear to be, but a collaborative effort by several organisations working on transport issues.

Yadda dabba don't: cavemen arrested in car protest

Posted by jamie — 27 May 2008 at 5:31pm - Comments

Six cavemen in a Flintstones-style car protesting about the car industry's lack of action on climate change

Protests by lorry drivers in London and Wales today show the strength of feeling surrounding fuel prices and, as oil hit US$135 a barrel last week, they're unlikely to fall anytime soon. Hauliers want the government to abandon proposed 2p tax increase and so ease the pain, but that would only be a short-term fix for a long-term problem - what's really needed is affirmative action on setting minimum fuel efficiency standards for road transport.

Which is why, if you happened to be in Brussels yesterday morning, you would have seen a bizarre site - six cavemen and women travelling the streets in Flintstones-esque car. (Don't believe me? Watch the video.) They were exposing the stone age thinking (geddit?) of the car industry who, lead by German car manufacturers, have been stifling attempts to improve car efficiency and reduce CO2 exhaust emissions for 17 years. First stop was the headquarters of the car manufacturer's lobby group, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), to deliver copies of a new report about the impact their industry is having on climate change.

Problems at the pump as new biofuel law draws closer

Posted by jamie — 24 March 2008 at 10:00am - Comments

A car speeding along a road

In a few weeks' time on Tuesday 15 April, every fuel company in the UK will be obliged to include a certain amount of biofuel in their petrol and diesel supplies. This is because, to comply with EU policies, the government has decreed we will all be using biofuels whether we want to or not but as you're probably aware, a lot of people have severe concerns about this.

Radio activism

Posted by jamie — 6 March 2008 at 7:09pm - Comments

Following last week's direct action maelstrom at Heathrow and the Houses of Parliament, the media has been courting the people involved with features popping up all over the place about the so-called new generation of eco-activists.

A particularly interesting piece went out last night on Radio 4: Graham Thompson (described by the Evening Standard as the "daddy" of the parliament protest group) appeared on The Moral Maze to argue the case that civil disobedience is an acceptable part of protest in the democratic process. Listen again for the inevitable seven days.

Meanwhile on the Guardian's Environment Weekly podcast, our own climate campaigner Joss Garman was in the studio to talk about the 'new breed' of activist. Listen again for... well, forever probably.

But if I come across one more reference to Swampy...

Virgin's biofuel flight is all spin and greenwash

Posted by jamie — 25 February 2008 at 2:28pm - Comments

With all the excitement happening today at Terminal One, it's worth remembering that yesterday was another eventful one in Heathrow's calendar as a Virgin Atlantic plane steered away from its usual transatlantic route to fly between Heathrow and Amsterdam. No, the guidance systems weren't malfunctioning: it was a test flight to demonstrate that biofuels can be used in aircraft. But what's that dripping from the undercarriage? Could it be a tonne of greenwash?

Virgin announced its plans to test biofuels some time ago but has been reluctant to say exactly what kind of biofuel they would be using. To quell concerns about the impact on the cost of food, a press release assured us that it wouldn't "compete with food and fresh water resources". The rumour was that it would be made from algae, but in the end it turned out to be a mixture of coconut and babassu oil. These aren't food crops as such, but if the aviation industry leaps on them as an apparently easy way to reduce emissions, that's going to have a huge environmental impact.

Porsche sulks over London congestion charge, starts a petition

Posted by jamie — 22 February 2008 at 5:11pm - Comments

Porsche logoLondon mayor Ken Livingstone was never going to get an easy ride over his planned changes to the congestion charge, and Porsche's threat of a legal challenge is perhaps no big surprise. Famed for its fast, sleek, inefficient cars, it claims the new £25-a-day charge on gas guzzlers is "unfair and disproportionate".

As well as the promised judicial review, the company has started a petition for the Jeremy Clarksons of this world to voice their opposition to Ken's plan. "We know that huge numbers of people in London and across the rest of the country support our case," they claim. "They agree with us that it would be bad for London - that it is unfair and sends the wrong message about what sort of a city London is whilst having no meaningful benefit on the environment."

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