News Archives - Environment

The young have always been the arbiters of cool…fewer than ever are learning to drive

Significant changes to social-economic conditions and living circumstances are the main factors behind a marked drop in car ownership among young people in the last generation, conclude academics from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in a study for the Department for Transport. The researchers found a decline in home ownership and increased higher education participation were among…

Smart street lights dim when nobody’s about

Highway 155 near Hole in Norway is no ordinary road. At night, 220 of its lamp posts operate at 20 per cent of their strength – increasing to full capacity only when radars detect approaching road users. Norwegian company Comlight has developed the Motion Sensing Street Lighting system to reduce the wasteful consumption of energy. The 9 km trial site saves 2100…

Electric barges to tackle ‘hidden’ pollution from shipping

Over 50,000 ships ply the world’s oceans to carry an estimated 90 per cent of everything we buy, sell and consume. And yet shipping remains a ‘hidden’ polluter – the only sector of the European economy not covered by the EU’s existing emissions reduction target, which is surprising given emissions from international maritime transport have grown by 70% since 1990. There…

Guerrilla zebra crossings: Then and now

Faced with dangerous traffic outside their campus, and armed only with pots of paint and a healthy disregard for authority, students at UCL in 1959 daubed the road with zebra crossing markings. Within months, the local authority had installed a real one. It’s more than a little depressing that over half a century later, getting zebra crossing installed is far…

Let’s raise fuel duty to pay for free public transport

Germany is planning to reduce road traffic danger – and especially pollution – by making public transport free. According to German environment minister Barbara Hendricks, “We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars. Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany.” The radical…