Defra: Technological solutions could be the answer but will governments invest in them? - Low carbon ways of generating energy & heat and powering transport are already available, but a report, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), notes that without agreement on how to cut emissions globally and the introduction of policies that can help put these technical solutions into practice, greenhouse gas emissions will increase by between 25 to 90% over the next two decades.

The report also notes that postponing action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will make it more difficult & expensive to reduce emissions in the future, as well as creating higher risks of severe climate change impacts.

Clean technology & energy efficiency will reward businesses which develop future technologies first, as well as generating enormous resource transfers to developing countries through the Clean Development Mechanism.

Emissions trading is not enough to drive investment in low carbon technology, which is why the UK is working through the Gleneagles Plan of Action. Thisis aimed at boosting the deployment of clean technologies, such as renewable energy technology and carbon capture & storage, as well as providing incentives for large scale private sector investment in low carbon technologies, working with the World Bank.

The UK is also working closely with key countries such as India and China in promoting new technologies. The near-Zero Emissions Coal (nZEC) project aims to demonstrate coal fired power generation with carbon dioxide capture & storage technology in China by 2020.

Press release ~ Third Summary for Policymakers ~ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ~ World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) ~ UN Environment Programme (UNEP) ~ Stern Review ~ Gleneagles - Climate change and Plan of Action ~ Climate Change Bill ~ Defra – Climate change ~ Defra – Working with China & Near-Zero Emissions Coal (nZEC) project ~ Defra – Emissions trading ~ Least Developed Countries Fund ~ Special Climate Change Fund ~ Adaptation Fund~ Clean Development Mechanism ~ Met Office Climate Change~ Scenarios of climate change for islands within the BIC region ~ National Adaptation Policy Framework ~ UK Climate Impacts Programme ~ UK Power Sector Emissions - targets or reality? ~ UK ERC - Carbon Capture and Storage ~ UKCCSC project ~ IEA Clean Coal Centre: Carbon capture & storage (sequestration) ~ India-UK collaboration on impacts of climate change in India

NHS: Evidently we did get something in return for all those tax rises - The government has published four reports at a special King's Fund event attended by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair and the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, which are meant to demonstrate progress made over the last the past decade.

The report 'Coronary Heart Disease Ten Years On: Improving Heart Health'claims that nearly 10,000 lives are being saved each year through the increased use of statins, and that premature deaths from circulatory disease (CHD, stroke and related diseases) in people under 75 have now fallen by almost 36% in the past decade, meaning the NHS is expected to meet the target of a 40% reduction by 2010, at least two years early.

'Emergency Care Ten Years On: Reforming Emergency Care' is intended to highlight the ‘transformation’ of A&E services with ‘record’ investment and innovative new ways of working.

'Cancer Ten Years On: Improvements across the whole care pathway' shows how investment & reform has meant improvements in screening, diagnostics, treatment and care. The government claims that 50,000 extra lives have been saved in the past decade, meaning they are on target to meet their target of a reduction of at least 20% in cancer deaths by 2010.

'Ten Years On: Progress on Mental Health Care Reform' maps the 10-year programme of reform of mental health care.
Press release ~ 'Coronary Heart Disease Ten Years On: Improving Heart Health' ~'Emergency Care Ten Years On: Reforming Emergency Care' ~ 'Cancer Ten Years On: Improvements across the whole care pathway' ~ 'Ten Years On: Progress on Mental Health Care Reform' ~ Kin g's Fund - Future Trends and Challenges for Cancer Services in England: A review of literature and policy

Defra: Schools get climate change message - A resource pack to help teachers and pupils explore & understand the issues surrounding climate change has been sent to every secondary school in England. The pack is accompanied by online teaching guidance showing how to use the resources in the pack in science, geography and citizenship lessons.

The pack contains:

  • DVD copy of Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth
  • DVD containing four short films commissioned by Defra:

-Tomorrow's Climate, Today's Challenge
-My CO2
-Diaries of the Climate Change Champions
-The Carbon Cycle animation by Climate Change Champion Sofia Selska

  • A leaflet on the Sustainable Schools Year of Action
  • Links to comprehensive online guidance on how teachers can use these resources in the classroom

The pack is being sent to nearly 5,000 secondary schools in England and forms part of the Sustainable Schools year of action, which aims to support all schools to become models of sustainable best practice.
Press release ~ Sustainable Schools Year of Action ~ Sustainable Schools ~ Greener living ~ Film & animation for Tomorrow’s Climate - Today’s Challenge ~ Defra – Climate Challenge ~ Climate Change in Scotland ~ Welsh Eco-Schools Programme ~ Friends of the Earth ~ Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration ~ Improvement and Development Agency Benchmark & Toolkit ~ Susta inable Development and Education Liaison Group (SDELG) ~ Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER) – Climate Change ~ Welsh climate change challenge ~ DfT School Travel Database

HM Treasury
: Educating the children out of poverty- Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn have told the international community that the world will not meet the UN's target of getting all children into primary school by 2015 unless rich countries provide up to $11 billon of new aid every year for the next 10 years. To reach the goal of full access to primary education, 1.6 million teachers need to be hired in Africa alone.

In order for the 77 million children who are currently out of school to complete a full 6 years of primary education they must enrol by 2009 at the latest. At the current rate of progress at least 75 countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015.

The UK has announced £500 million over the next 10 years to support education plans drawn up by the Governments of Ethiopia and Tanzania. The funds are part of the UK's pledge to spend £8.5 billion in the next 10 years, helping the world's poorest countries:

  • recruit more teachers
  • build new classrooms and
  • provide basic materials like books & stationery

The UK has already pledged £46 million to Mozambique over 10 years to help provide a national bursary for orphans & girls in rural areas and to reduce classroom sizes in primary schools.
Press release ~ Mi llennium Development Goal of universal primary education ~ DFID – MDG - Education ~ NAO: Tackling Rural Poverty in developing countries ~ Millennium Development Goals report 2006

ESRC: Playing for safety - Contrary to popular opinion, children play a key role in strengthening local communities and making people feel safe in their neighbourhoods, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Much panic today about childhood in urban areas is based on a very partial picture and the report challenges previous theories that social networks are largely determined by parents. According to the evidence they found, children are active - both indirectly and directly – in forging neighbourly relationships and connections for their parents.
Press release ~ Families and Social Capital ESRC research group, London South Bank University ~ Locality, School and Social Capital ~ Social Capital, Diversity and Education Policy ~ ESRC Society Today

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