Edible insects, rail travel, and drought planning – June roundup
Carbon emissions from UK rail travel lower than previously thought
Rail travel is far greener than previously thought a new tool from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) shows. The calculator, which was developed by Thrust Carbon, uses data including engine and fuel type, occupancy, and exact journey distance to measure a train journey’s carbon footprint.
On the electrified rail route from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley station, UK Government figures showed emissions per passenger were 24kg/CO2e. The first result from RDG’s carbon calculator confirms this figure is actually 12.5kg/CO2e – just over half the previous estimation.
When compared to car travel or flying, travelling by train creates 10 times less or 13 times less carbon dioxide respectively.
Why not consider travelling by train for your next holiday?
Students’ insect snacks scoop prize at national competition
Two groups of student food entrepreneurs from the University of Nottingham have scooped the top two prizes at the UK final of Ecotrophelia UK a national competition for sustainable food innovation.
Taking gold at the competition was PlanEat for their snack that has insect protein as a main ingredient. Insects offer a promising alternative protein source that has a low carbon footprint. Compared to a single cow, which produces 2,850g of greenhouse gas per 1kg of protein, insects produce just 1g.
Hey Pesto! Took silver for their seed mix pesto that was optimised to be highly nutritious while avoiding the allergen issues that pestos with nuts would pose.
The PlanEat team will now be heading to the European Finals in Germany.
Rewetting England’s lowland peat could help meet emissions target
Rewetting about half of England’s lowland peat would be enough to deliver a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions savings needed from the country’s farming by 2030, research from the Green Alliance suggests.
New investment from the UK Government was announced to improve lowland peat this month. As well as reducing carbon emissions, rewetting lowland peat soils can bring lots of benefits including boosting biodiversity, protecting communities from flooding, and improving food security.
Drought planning stepped up amid hottest June on record
As we see more heatwaves and reduced amounts of rain, it is important that we ensure that water supply is resilient. The National Drought Group, chaired by the Environment Agency, met in June to discuss how we can protect ourselves to ensure water supply remains plentiful over hotter summers.
Planning for increasingly extreme weather is essential to prepare people for the impacts of climate change – including droughts and flooding.
You can help us to protect this precious resource by taking steps to save water at home. Severn Trent offer tips on how to save water and free water saving devices for your home. You can also get a subsidised water butt to collect rainwater to use around your garden.
Loss of fossil fuel assets would not impact general public’s finances
Reducing fossil fuels will have a minimal financial impact on the majority of people, a new study has found. Some opponents of climate action have claimed that moving away from polluting fossil fuels will be too expensive and lead to an economic slump.
However, the study shows that just 3.5% of financial losses would affect the least wealthy half of Americans. When researchers repeated the analysis for the UK and Europe, similar results were found.
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