Scotland’s solar power capacity went up by more than a quarter over the past year, new figures show. WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association, which jointly published the statistics, welcomed the expansion, and called for the Scottish Government to encourage even greater uptake of the technology.
Political parties in Scotland should commit to a national strategy to help businesses and consumers reduce and manage their demand for electricity, environmental and energy groups have said. WWF Scotland and Edinburgh-based company Flexitricity have stressed that implementing a concerted strategy regarding electricity consumption would mean Scotland could avoid the need to build expensive new fossil fuel power stations and more rapidly cut climate emissions. The groups also asserted that such a strategy must go beyond energy efficiency, and include measures to increasingly tap into the vast existing “invisible“ power network of industrial, commercial and public sector organisations.
Almost a third of the world’s natural World Heritage Sites face the risk of oil and gas drilling or mining, a report has warned. In Africa, almost two-thirds (61%) of the continent’s world-renowned natural sites are under threat of exploration for fossil fuels or minerals, the study by conservation organisation WWF, Aviva Investors and Investec Asset Management found. The 31% of World Heritage Sites under threat worldwide range from Africa’s first national park, Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to critically endangered mountain gorillas, to China’s Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Last week, I was in a small tent on the vast Greenland ice sheet with a leading British glaciologist investigating and documenting the alarming rate of ice flow and melt as a result of climate change.
Scotland’s electricity system could be powered almost entirely by renewable energy by 2030, according to a report by an environmental charity. WWF Scotland’s report uses independent analysis by an engineering and energy consultancy to test the Scottish Government’s policy to decarbonise the country’s electricity supply over the next 15 years. It found that an electricity system based on “proven renewables and increased energy efficiency” is a credible way of meeting the target.
Leading conservation organisations are calling for a ban on mining and exploration for oil and gas in World Heritage Sites. The organisations, including the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the RSPB and WWF, warn that growing pressure for resources means that a quarter of natural World Heritage Sites are under threat from commercial mining and extraction. World Heritage Sites such as Virunga National Park, home of the critically endangered mountain gorilla in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Virgin Komi forests in Russia and the Belize Barrier Reef System are all under threat from exploitation, the groups said.