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Primary schools switch to four week summer holiday

Two primary schools from Lincolnshire have decided to opt for a four week summer holiday instead of a six week holiday. This is something that has been widely debated over the past 3 years, with some experts claiming that six weeks is to long of a break. Others argue that with the amount of information children are expected to digest through term time, they need a long break to allow their minds to rest and prepare for the following year, where the workload jumps up a level.

Iran to make global oil market return

With Iranian nuclear talks finished and Iran about to make a return to the global oil market, many people are asking what sort of impact it will make on oil prices. Many people expect the increased supply will cause a decrease in price, however, the Russian Energy Minister disagrees. He believes it will not impact global oil prices at all, as the market has already adjusted to accommodate increased supply from Iran.

EU urged to toughen air pollution targets

There has been calls for the EU to act upon its air pollution levels, which are reportedly responsible for 400,000 premature deaths each year. The environmental Members of the European Parliament have stated that a 70% reduction in air pollution could save anywhere up to £40 billion by 2030.

Diesel vehicles blamed for London’s poor air quality

Boris Johnson the London Mayor has been urged to take action to lower the amount of pollution diesel cars are causing. This comes after the London Assembly, who scrutinise the mayors annual plans, stated that the air quality are among the worst in the EU.

The UK has already been warned this year by the European Supreme Court to reduce its levels of air pollution. Diesel vehicles are a major contributor to NO2 levels in the capital, with reports suggesting they make up 40% of the total NO2 levels.

Are oil prices about to fall further?

According to the International Energy Agency there is currently a massive amount of oversupply in the market, which cannot possibly be absorbed. This will then push the oil price lower, possibly lower that what was seen in January when prices fell to their lowest for 5 years.

The oversupply is being generated by OPEC refusing to cut its supply in an attempt to gain extra market share. Another contributing factor has been the US shale oil boom, which has revolutionised the way the US drills for oil, allowing them to up their volume by a considerable amount.

UK Government to continue supporting North Sea oil and gas

The Government has said it will continue to support the North Sea oil and gas industry by establishing a governing body that will be in charge of regulation to help with recover and asset stewardship. The industry had begun to struggle when the oil prices had crashed towards the back end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, and has only recently started to recover. However, the Government do not believe the recovery is picking up enough pace, which is why they will create the Oil and Gas Authority.

Gas and electricity contracts at new lows

Annual gas contracts fell in June after they had initially risen to 47.0p/th due to worries over a production cap in Groningen, which limited the supply. Groningen is Europe’s largest gas field and has imposed an output cap of 30bcm after an EU court ruling. However, this rise was then counter balanced by strong Russian and LNG supplies, eventually pushing down prices. The Greek crisis has also had an effect on gas prices, with the euro weakening against the pound, imports have been a lot cheaper.

Conservatives to cut green energy subsidies

It is expected that todays budget will announce huge cuts to green energy subsidies after key Conservatives called them ‘out of control’. The Department of Energy and Climate Change was ran by the Lib Dems over the past 5 years during the coalition government, which is what the out of control spending has been blamed on.

EU seeks Chinese investment to boost funding for sustainability

A stronger relationship with China must be a priority for the EU if it is to boost its funding in sustainability. The President of the European Committee of Regions stated that if Europe is to get the funding it requires to make urban areas more sustainable, it must look to China for investment.

The President reiterated claims he has already made that it is important for city pairing and partnerships between regions in energy efficiency. He believes that city’s and regions working together to meet energy efficiency targets works a lot better that city’s going it alone.

Could fracking pull down your house price?

A recent government report has reviled that a fracking site within a mile of your home could reduce the value of your property. Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing is the process of using pressurised liquid to fracture the rocks deep beneath the ground, to allow any natural resources such as gas and oil to move more freely.

China confirms it will cut carbon emissions by 65% by 2030

China will aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 from the levels recorded in 2005, which has came as great news. This comes after a new worldwide carbon emission plan unveiled by the worlds largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Previously China had committed to cut emissions by 45% by 2020 from 2015 levels, so the news announced this week is continuing the trend of China reducing its carbon footprint.

UK power prices fall due to hot weather

The UK’s day-ahead prices fell this week due to much higher temperatures than seasonal norms, which increased the amount of electricity generated by solar power. This also caused a drop in peak power demand, which pushed prices even lower. The wholesale cost of electricity is now fast approaching the lows seen in January after a downward trend over the last couple of months.

Plans for the UK’s Green Investment Bank to be privatised

Plans for the UK’s Green Investment Bank to be privatised have been slammed by a number of pro green Conservatives, who feel it would be a step in the wrong direction for the conservatives green policies. The Green Investment bank was set up by the coalition government as an organisation which invested public money into renewable energy projects. It was viewed by many as a huge success, and one of the only green energy policies that actually worked under the coalition government.

Energy Secretary confirms power capacity auction

The UK’s Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed that the government will again hold an auction for power capacity delivery for 2019-2020. This will be the second time this has happened after the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition did the same last year.

The announcement was made after a letter was sent to the national grid by Amber Rudd, outlining the governments plans for the auction. The auction parameters will be published closer to the auction date on the 1st of September.

New national hotline to be launched for reporting power cuts

Ofcom have announced that they will be following the NHS and the Police in introducing a 3 number hotline to report none emergency’s. The service will be available from April 2016 and can be used by people wanting to report a power cut and find out an estimated length of time before the problem is fixed. People will simply have to dial 105 to get in touch with their electricity operator.

Could your business save money by adopting green vehicles?

A recent report has found that switching to more efficient vehicles could save businesses up to £20 billion throughout the EU. The findings of the report outlined the importance of driving economically, with road traffic accounting for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. A change in road habits to a more economic way of driving could save businesses money on fuel costs.

EU needs more powers to ensure it meets the 27% renewable energy target

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has claimed that the European Commission needs more powers to ensure that its members meet the 27% renewable energy pledge by 2030. The paper released by EWEA claimed that the European Commission must be hard on those states that were not pulling their own weight, and instead expected other countries to go beyond the target and make up for their short fall.

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