Short cuts

27th February 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Carbon Trading ,
  • Management/saving ,
  • Ecosystems

Author

Osman Tarzumanov

A round up of news from the European commission and European Investment Bank, Decc, and the Law Commission.

New EU finance tools

Private sector involvement in energy efficiency and biodiversity projects could be boosted by two new European financial instruments. The European commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) are funding an €80 million scheme to encourage private investment in energy efficiency projects. The money will be used to fund long-term low-cost loans, credit risk protection and technical expertise to encourage local financial institutions to increase lending for the schemes. The money is expected to unlock at least €500 million of private sector investment. Meanwhile, the natural capital financing facility will support investments in flood protection, rainwater recycling, biodiversity offsets, eco-tourism and projects to protect forests, and reduce water and soil pollution.

Climate tool launched

An interactive tool has been launched to help businesses, charities and governments better understand the trade-offs for energy and land use resulting from reducing carbon emissions. The free online calculator uses data reviewed by more than 150 international experts in a project led by the energy and climate department (Decc). The calculator is an extension of a similar tool launched by Decc in 2010 to allow users to explore energy futures for the UK to 2050. National Grid and Friends of the Earth are among the organisations that have used the previous version, says Decc. It also says that governments, including those of China, India and Vietnam, have adopted the model to develop their own national calculators. The new calculator goes further than the old edition by allowing users to add up actions at a global level. International organisations from the US, China, India and Europe worked with Decc to develop the calculator, which was co-funded by Climate-KIC, an EU climate innovation initiative.

Law on invasive plants

The Infrastructure Act, which received royal assent in February, provides regulators with new powers to control and eradicate invasive non-native plants. Environmental authorities in England and Wales will be able to issue species control orders to compel land owners or occupiers to control or eradicate the plant. Alternatively, the issuing authority could carry out the operations. The Law Commission, which recommended this extension of powers, says the orders may be issued only when it has been impossible to reach an agreement with the owner or occupier or action is urgently required. In addition, the plant must be identified as both “invasive” (a serious threat to biodiversity, the economy or other social or economic interests) and “non-native” or “no longer normally present in Great Britain”. Breaching a species control order will be a criminal offence, but owners or occupiers will have the right to appeal at a tribunal.

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