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From leisure activity... everyday transportation

Let’s Get Britain Cycling

1/4 2013

Small changes make a big difference

Dear friends,

Welcome to our very first Greenpeace ECO issue. We have put this online supplement together, in an effort to inspire all of you to make small changes in your lives, because they make a big difference to our planet. Our health, prosperity and that of future generations depend on our actions now. We noticed that positive changes are happening: across industries, governments and civil society and we believe that it is essential for you to stay informed with news that isn’t always covered by mainstream media. Hopefully you will feel grateful to find out about these and empowered to do more. From our ever-developing alternative energy sector to major upcoming investments and inventions that are changing the world, our successes deserve to be celebrated. Within this first issue you will find advice on how to finance and install solar panels at your home, which cars produce the least amount of CO2 emissions and how to make your house more eco-friendly. Also, if you don’t have one yet, get yourself a bike because roads will be friendlier to cyclists in the near future. We will also be giving you the latest updates on our campaigns: don’t forget to sign our petitions.

contents going beyond oil Here comes the sun.......................................3 Winds of change..............................................6 green living Let’s Get Britain Cycling................................7 Time to cut car emissions............................11 constantly growing: green tips&inventions Get inspired to make a change...............13 campaign updates Save the Arctic................................................15 Battle for Britain/ Success..........................17

We hope you enjoy Greenpeace ECO and that you will find here a great source of inspiration and positivity. We will see you again towards the end of July, but in the meantime, we’d like to thank you for your immense support. Oana Dociu - editor-in-chief


going beyond oil As we all know, renewable sources of energy are the next step the world is taking in view of protecting our climate, the purity of our air and waters and creating a better life for present and future generations. Changes are happening and soon enough we will be able to go beyond oil…

Here comes the sun The UK’s largest solar farm, located in Leicestershire near Loughborough, has now been connected to the national grid, ready to produce emission free power for more than 8,000 homes for the next 25 years. 130,000 solar photovoltaic panels (better known as PV) are spread across 150 acres of land on Wymeswold airfield, the 34 MWp project having been developed by Lark Energy. The land is also being used by a kite club, a HGV training centre, a race track and other athletics and equestrian events, none of which being affected by the farm, proving that solar parks can easily co-exist with other land uses. Managing director of Lark Energy said: “We are committed to developing a large portfolio of


solar projects in the UK over the coming years and see a bright future for this industry.” Indeed there is a bright future or sustainable energy in the UK, seeing as in the last few months nearly 200 large scale megawatt projects have been submitted, a large part of which already approved and either connected to the grid or under construction. These include a total of 228MW of solar power connected by 4 different companies only in the first quarter of 2013, an approved solar park in Chelveston airfield which will power more than 21,000 homes and a 20MW approved plan for a solar development that will be sited on land attached to a waste management and recycling facility. Overall the UK has exceeded the 0.5 GW PV demand for the first quarter,

grabbing almost 10% of the global share according to NPD Solarbuzz, the industry’s premier source for research and analysis, it is forecast to be placed globally as the 5th largest PV market.

The legally binding target for the UK demands that by 2020 a minimum of 15% of its electricity to come from renewables, although a possible 30% is predicted. The good news comes not only from a big scale viewpoint. The smaller and home PV installations are continuing to grow throughout the UK, with latest reports from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showing weekly installation numbers reaching 2,000. These changes serve as proof of the the constantly dropping prices for PV installations and the success of the Green Deal scheme, which came into full effect on January 28th. The policy helps individuals assess their homes and work out how much they could save on bills by completing energy-saving improvements and allowing them to pay for these in instalments through their electricity bill (the intention being that the savings will outweigh the repayments). In addition, there is the Feed-in-Tariff, which assures payments to any individual who has chosen to generate electricity (using

solar panels or wind turbines). The homeowner is also allowed to sell any extra units which aren’t needed for the house. These two Government policies combined have made it possible for over 10,000 assessments to take place in the past three months. Energy and climate minister Greg Baker commented on these statistics: “It is clearly very early days but the latest figures on the Green Deal show that this new market is gathering real momentum.”, also adding that: “The number of businesses getting on board continues to rise steadily, underlining that the Green Deal offers fantastic new commercial opportunities.”

Every contribution -big or small- adds to the number of tons of CO2 emissions which aren’t released in our atmosphere (over 10,000 for each large scale project). This gives a promising start to the 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

Be a part of the change! Click on the buttons bellow to find out more:


going beyond oil Solar power innovations If one thing is certain, it is that humans aim to always evolve, improve and have been gifted with the intelligence to do so. It takes time, but the nature supplies us with everything we need in order to progress and live peacefully with our planet.

Biodegradable Solar Panels If previous knowledge showed that solar panels, one of the world’s primary source of renewable, free energy, could only be made from materials which aren’t easily recycled, developments towards solving this issue have been researched by numerous scientists, with great results!

UK’s first solar house

The first carbon neutral home will be built in Leicestershire and will be using The BioSolar Backsheet, hybrid solar panels in order to meet all researched and produced by a U.S. the property’s heating, hot water and company has recently won the USDA electricity demands. That is right: no more BioPreferred Certification and is now energy bills! The home features multiple available commercially. The material is components of the latest technology, which will make a difference including in more durable and non-toxic, being obtained from cotton and castor beans. the winter months, with the help of heat collected during the summer. The house Back in 2010 it was also discovered is set to be completed in August and that tobacco plants could grow solar cells, using the evolution’s unparalleled will be followed by monitoring in view of possible use. Director of Caplin Homes, efficiency in helping the plant collect the company which is building the house, and use the light from the sun. More said: “We are very excited to have been specifically, an altered version of the given the green light to build the Solar tobacco mosaic virus is sprayed onto House and to demonstrate that Zero the plants, which allows tiny structures Carbon living can be achieved at reasoncalled chromophores able cost.” Many projects like these are to be formed and their main starting to take shape around the world function is to turn light into high and in the future many of us could live in powered electrons. This product is still net-zero emission homes.

under works, however both innovations are great news and means of creating a revolution in the area of energy production.


Being bio-based also means that these new solar panels will be extremely low-cost.

Computer generated visualisation

London Array is now the world’s largest wind farm, as 175 off shore turbines became fully operational. The 630MW project located in the outer Thames Estuary is only the first stage, a second 230MW one being applied for this autumn. The construction of the farm has been host to a number of new techniques aimed at industrializing offshore wind installations and lowering its costs. “This is the final major milestone of the construction phase and the culmination of more than two years offshore construction work which began in March 2011 with the installation of the first foundation,” said London Array project director Richard Rigg. The project comes in addition to an also recently completed wind farm near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, which will supply power to 12,000 homes. RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery commented on this achievement: “Britain has a real achievement to celebrate here,” she said. “The largest operational offshore wind farm in the world is generating clean electricity for British homes and businesses. It’s a monumental feat of green engineering.”

Winds of change

Wind power is UK’s largest source of renewable electricity. Over the last few years, the installed wind power capacity has constantly increased, with a 30% increase in 2012 alone. At the beginning of 2013 the total capacity reached a total of 8,445 MW brought on by 362 wind farms and establishing UK globally as the sixth wind power producer, surpassing France and Italy. A huge expansion of offshore wind is planned up to 2020 – enough to supply a quarter of the UK’s total electricity needs.


green living - transportation

Official figures show that in terms of cycling, Britons would be willing compete with countries such as The Netherlands or Spain, if only they had the means to do so. The Prime Minister’s interest and a nearly billion pound investment in London is the perfect stepping stone. A sign of progress was seen last year after the Olympic cyclists inspired people to spend as much as £1.56 billion buying bikes, a new all time record according to the Office for National Statistics. Since then, things have stayed the same, indicating that other changes,


Segregated cycling route that would run past the Victoria Enbankment

such as infrastructure, ought to be made, to encouage cyclists to feel safer on the roads. For London the good news came in March, when it was announced that a ‘bike Crossrail’ across Central London is due to be completed in 2016. The construction is part of a substantial £913 million investment and is aimed at creating a grid of segregated and safe cycle lines around the capital. Mayor Boris Johnson announced a decadelong transformative investment in cycling.

The plan includes a “Tube network for the bike” which will run along key tube lines and a link with the current existing cycle Superhighways. Mayor Johnson commented: “It is also the case that it will deliver long-term benefits to the London and UK economy because it makes a much, much nicer and more attractive place to live in and more around.” Superhighways will be isolated from traffic wherever possible, while Quietways will provide routes on quiet roads designed to encourage cautious cyclists.

The Mayor’s cyclist czar, Andrew Gilligan explains the positive effects this investment will have on London: “This will benefit everyone, even if they have no intention of getting on a bicycle. It means less traffic, less pollution, more seats on the Tube, fewer cars in front of your car at the lights, more trees and green space.” In addition, Transport for London (TfL) has invited Outer London boroughs to apply for money to create “mini-Holland” areas, intended to replicate the level of safety enjoyed by cyclists in the Netherlands. They declared that over 2 million small routes which are “eminently cyclable” are still made by car. After being urged by cross-party MPs, peers and public, through the Get Britain cycling report, which includes an action plan similar to that of London, Prime Minister David Cameron declared to be aware of the importance of the problem. However, he only encouraged town halls to do the same for

their cities: “I hope local authorities can follow his lead and do more.” The report also outlined some £4 billion every year that could be saved through the usage of bicycles, in relation to health problems. The Prime Minister is still facing pressures to force through the 18 recommendations from the report, and is also expected by the public to do so. Martin Gibbs, policy director at British Cycling, said: “The Prime Minister is a good friend of cycling and cycles himself. With his backing we can apply the focus we used to turn ourselves into a leading cycle sport nation to embed cycling across the whole of society so that it becomes a normal everyday choice which appeals to everyone.” The plan for London should be extended throughout most of the UK and we know that it is possible, seeing as we already know a that a large part of the population is eager to use

Centraal Station, Amsterdam

bicycles as a mode of transportation. The wish to avoid traffic or crowded buses has made it possible for the number of cycle commuters to rise steadily.


green living - transportation Chris Peck, the policy coordinator of UK’s cyclist organization stated: “In terms of money spent in cycling, the figures we have suggest it has gone up quite dramatically in the past ten years.” The many accidents that are occurring (2012 was a five-year high with 122 cyclist deaths) are also part of the reasons more people aren’t pedalling in the UK. “Investment is one of the mainstays if you want to get more people cycling”, says Peck. Other safety modifications for cyclists that are being made include Lorry design, more specifically the elimination of potentially fatal blind spots. The ever-increasing number of deaths caused by these has been calling for a change. Thus, a lower cab and expanded side windowswill make Lorries and HGVs safer on the roads. Even though there is still a long way to go until the UK equals top bike nations, a promising start is noticeable.


Cambridge got a head start

Currently, Cambridge is the top city in terms of cycling, with 47% of adults riding their bikes at least once every week (and 25% at least five times weekly). The city’s MP encouraged others to follow: “We need to demonstrate to people that it is a safe, efficient, cheap and healthy thing to do”. Visiting Cambridge, you can definitely notice the multitude of cyclists, including students and teachers, who carry their books in a small basket in front or in a backpack. Aside from helping the purity of our air and improving their health, they are also making their daily trips look

very easy and convenient. It doesn’t take long though to also notice that the infrastructure of the city is a massive contributor, with cycle lanes which separate them completely from other vehicles and a large number of parking spaces. We need to see the Cambridge effect spreading. The near future shows great promise and soon enough every nation will grant this 200 year-old invention as much importance as any other mode of transportation. Get your bike ready and prepare to be part of the revolution.


green living - transportation

Time to cut car emissions

At times when using the car instead of a bike is required, the world of greener, cleaner automobiles stands before you stronger than ever. With 2014 as a proposed deadline for EU decision on 2025 targets, over the next few months EU politicians will be making decisions which will affect every car in Europe. The decision made in April states that a 96g/km limit is to be set by 2020, with a 68-78g/km limit for 2025. Our ultimate goal is to make future cars as green and clean as possible, in order to save the Arctic from both climate change and companies drilling for oil. We are confident that we can cut CO2 emissions in half by 2025, helping every UK driver to save around £400 every year and also reduce the oil


dependency which is currently costing the European Union £1 billion every day. British based consultancies Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo – AEA found, aside from the money savings, that more fuel-efficient cars could create nearly half a million jobs. We are definitely heading into the right direction, and with the help of more than half a million of you, after two years of campaigning VW agreed to meet our strong CO2 reduction target. The biggest carmaker in Europe is therefore setting an example and showing that technology has reached the point where we could use a lot less oil than some carmakers insist on. The loophole that has been backed up by MP’s, a ‘super credits’ scheme means that the extra green cars (with

Europe vs CO2 Click here to sign our petition to convince European politicians to make a difference by cutting car pollution.

under 50g/km) will count as 3,5 cars in 2030 (falling to 1.3 from 2020). Thus, car makers have to balance out heavier, polluting models with enough greener cars to achieve 95g by 2020. The super credits allow for greener cars to count more towards the average emissions of a car fleet than SUVs. This would mean more CO2, higher driving costs and more need for expensive oil imports and it also means national governments should fight back against super credits.

Drive Cleaner Cars We can get ahead of the EU decisions and start making a change now. Besides driving less, the best way to help is by driving a very fuel efficient car (with less than 90g/km). We’ve selected for you the top economical cars available in the UK.

Vauxhall Ampera &

27g/km Chevrolet Volt

Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid

48g/km Toyota Prius Plug-in

79g/km Renault Clio dCi 90 Eco


These are all proof of our capacity to beat CO2 car emisions. The price range (for a new car) is £15,000 - £48,000, will allow you to pay less tax and are qualified for the UK Government plug-in electric car grant of £5,000.


constantly growing

Get inspired to make a change G A R D E N R E U S E 13

green tips When our great minds are put to work with the aim of improving all life on Earth, impressive things can happen. From small changes you can do at home to ideas that are changing the world, we present you a few green tips & inventions.

Besides shopping at your local farmer’s market, the best way to help your local economy and make sure you’re consuming the healthiest food possible is by planting in your own little garden! Show your kids where food originates from. Grow anything you can and have the space for, from herbs to fruit and vegetable. The satisfaction of cooking with your own ingredients will be worth it. If you don’t have a lot of space, don’t fear. How about a vertical garden on the walls of your house? The first rule for reducing waste is obviously recycling and repurposing. All it takes is a change of mindset, research and at times a bit of creativity. Think twice before taking anything to the landfill, especially electronics (which could be repaired to keep or give away). Old towels can become new cleaning rags, basically any old furniture can be repurposed, glass jars can become containers. Tip: coffee grounds can be kept and used to scrub grease off pots and pans, absorb fridge odors and even as plant fertilizer!


Forget all the store bought cleaners that harm our environment and health. With just a few items you can do the vast majority of household C cleaning, all while saving money, our planet from O plastic containers and your house from toxins. All purpose cleaner: 1/4 white vinegar, 1tbsp. baking soda, a few drops of citrus or essential oil. Fill the spray bottle with water and voila! L Tip: for thougher stains heat sollution and leave E it on the spot for a little while. Oven cleaner: baking soda, sprayed with A water and left for a few hours Drain unblocking sollution: 1/2 cup of baking N soda followed by 200ml vinegar. Leave it for 15 mins.


& inventions Something as simple as water...

Bosco Verticale still full of dangerous bacteria for almost a billion people. It is not right for us to stand by while so many others lack something as basic to life as safe drinking water.

The world’s first vertical forest is weeks away from completion in Milan, Italy (one of the most polluted cities in Europe), in the form of two residential buildings. The plants not only The Life Straw (above)- an instant improve the quality of the water purifier and a new concept living spaces, but give nanoparticle portable one (left) have way to dramatic energy been designed with this idea in mind. savings year round. The Life Straw has been aiding Among others benefits, millions of people and already made they produce humidity, a difference, proving our amazing absorb CO2 and dust capacity to be there for each other. particles and produce oxygen.

More than 2 billion people live without electricity, most in extreme poverty. Portable Light is an active project that enables them to create and own energy harvesting textiles, providing the benefits of renewable power as an integral part of everyday life. 6 hours of sunlight can provide energy to power things such as medical devices by day, or 20 hours of LED light by night.


campaign updates The fragile Arctic is under threat from both climate change and oil drilling. As climate change melts the Arctic ice, oil companies are moving in to extract more of the fossil fuels that caused the melt in the first place. But above the Arctic circle, freezing temperatures, a narrow drilling window and a remote location mean that an oil spill would be almost impossible to deal with. It’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. Greenpeace is working to halt climate change and to stop this new oil rush at the top of the world.

Sign the petition to declare a global sanctuary in the Arctic


• At the end of April more than 10,000 of us from 280 cities came together in our global day of action to send a clear message to politicians: the Arctic belongs to everyone. • Volunteers helped raise awareness of the threats to the Arctic, talking to mem bers of the public or taking photographs.The day culminated in a massive effort from volunteers and donated equipment that saw the Arctic come to life in London, testament to the collective creativity of passionate people.

Click to see our amazing Arctic in London 3D projection

• Team Aurora have just returned from their North Pole expedition, where they planted 3 million of your signatures on the seabed 4km beneath the ice as statement of our joint commitment to Arctic protection.

“When you’re campaigning for something you believe in you genuinely come away from it at the end of the day feeling that you’ve made a difference.” - local group member

• Every action helps, but nothing beats the collective action of dedicated people on the ground. And that’s why you’re needed now. •Would you like to come with us to the Glastonbury Festival? Our field will become an Arctic landscape, in keeping with the global campaign to save the Arctic. But that’s not all Read more: If you want to be part of our festival summer season e-mail


campaign updates • The Energy Bill is our once in a generation opportunity to clean up our power sector and see carbon free electricity by 2030.


A clear majority of EU countries have supported the European Commission proposal to temporarily ban three pesticides that are scientifically shown to be harmful to bees: imidacloprid and clothianidin, produced by chemical company Bayer, and thiamethoxam, produced by Syngenta. In our recent report, Bees in Decline we identified seven bee-killing pesticides produced by Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and other companies, four of which are not neonicotinoids. Greenpeace is campaigning to remove these pesticides from the market as a crucial first step to start a move away from industrial farming in Europe.

Tell your MP to

support clean electricity and green jobs now

• It is our chance to change the future of our health and economy

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Within 10 years it will be impossible to travel to the North Pole by dog team. There will be too much open water. Will Steger

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. We don’t accept funds from governments or corporations; everything we do is thanks to our committed supporters.

Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London, N1 2PN Tel: 020 7865 8100 Fax: 020 7865 8200


Online news supplement. Student project.