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Britain’s falling carbon emissions

A couple of weeks ago I was talking about how Ethiopia has been decoupling economic growth and carbon emissions with a friend, and commenting on how rare that story was. I suggested that Britain might also be decoupling, due to the falling use of coal. It was too early to tell, but if we waited […]

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The final mile problem

The ‘last mile’ is a well known problem in transport. It refers to the distance from people’s homes to the bus stop or train station. Or it could be at the other end, the distance from the train station to the office. It’s the beginning or end of a journey, the distance to or from […]

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What we learned this week

“When it comes to poverty, we should stop pretending to know better than poor people” says Rutger Bregman as he explores a forgotten experiment on the universal basic income. Given the importance of energy storage in the age of renewable energy, it’s surprising that Britain hasn’t built a grid scale energy storage facility for 30 […]

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What is an Active House?

This week I dropped in on the EcoBuild exhibition in London, Britain’s biggest trade fair on sustainable construction. I was gathering future blog posts and looking for ideas to make my own home more sustainable, but the main reason I was there was to attend the Active House symposium. I hadn’t heard of the Active […]

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Iran’s renewable energy peace dividend

The idea of a ‘peace dividend’ comes from the Cold War. As the decades of tension eased and the threat of conflict receded, world leaders saw a chance to collectively reduce their military budgets. Armed forces could be demobilized, nuclear weapons destroyed, and expensive programmes drawn to a close. There were potentially huge savings, and […]

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Let’s keep talking about the Circular Economy

I’ve written a lot about the Circular Economy over the last few years, so regular readers will most likely have a pretty good grasp of what it is. But for most people it’s an unfamiliar term and I often find myself explaining it. I was doing it again this weekend. We had a house full […]

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Book review: Thank you for being late, by Thomas L Friedman

When NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman meets someone for breakfast and they get caught up on the way, he thanks them for being late. That unscheduled wait is a perfect time for reflection, and gave Friedman the title for his latest book: Thank you for being late – an optimist’s guide to thriving in the […]

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Transport innovation of the week: bike lifts

I was in Edinburgh last week, and was browsing The Scotsman while I waited for a train. This article on cycle paths caught my eye. The government and Sustrans are running a competition, with five different cycle path proposals bidding for funding. One of them will run from the Meadows area of the city up […]

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What we learned this week

Nice to see a community cooperative winning the coveted title of Britain’s best pub. Bought back by its customers after it went bankrupt, it now hosts a library, shop and allotments. Are China’s emissions peaking? Carbon Brief takes a long hard look at the dip in coal power and the slowing of emissions in this […]

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Building of the week: the 3D printed house

The first house to be 3D printed on site was built last month in Russia. It took 24 hours, and cost just over $10,000. It looks like this: Houses have been printed before, but only as components that are then assembled on site. What makes this one different is that the whole thing has been […]

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