Delays and increased costs at Hinkley

Barry White

Bosses at Hinkley Point C in Somerset have blamed pandemic disruption after admitting the new nuclear power station will start operating a year later than planned and will cost an extra £3bn according to press reports. EDF the French state owned energy company said the first reactor unit at the Somerset site is now scheduled to start operating in June 2027, a year later than planned, with costs estimated between £25bn and £26bn. They say that this would not affect the cost to British consumers or taxpayers, costs being met by EDF and China’s CGN, the junior partner in the project.

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No new coal mine in Cumbria – environmental campaigners

Barry White

This week the countryside charity, the CPRE and Friends of the Earth shared analysis that they believe couldn’t make it clearer that there’s no good reason for the Secretary of State Michael Gove to approve a coal mine in Cumbria. They believe that the mine would be a disaster for the countryside, and a climate emergency own goal: . They also believe that it wouldn’t provide any of the long-term, sustainable and well-paid jobs that local communities in Cumbria need:

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April sees record carbon concentrations

Barry White

The Financial Times (14/15 May) reports that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest level ever recorded by modern instruments in April. Scientists say that is set to rise even higher this month.

CO2 levels fluctuate during the year as vegetation grows in spring then decomposes. Levels peak during April and May, when the large amount of vegetation in our hemisphere release carbon dioxide.

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Mixed reception for new planning proposals

Barry White

Just cast your minds back to 2020 when the government attempted to free up construction with new planning legislation which led to a backlash in the Conservative heartlands. Backbench MPs including Theresa May called the approach “ill-conceived”. This week, in the Queen’s Speech, the government finally published its long-awaited response to their original unpopular planning proposals which organisations like the countryside charity CPRE (formerly the Council for the Preservation of Rural England and the Council for the Protection of Rural England) had been campaigning against for almost two years.

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