Newcastle goes underground in search of renewable energy

The city of Newcastle has embarked on a £900,000 project that aims to tap into renewable energy trapped underground.
Scientists and engineers at Newcastle University began work today on the geothermal project, which will drill 2,000 metres down, the deepest ever drilled under a city. The aim of the scheme is to provide five megawatts of thermal energy, hot enough to heat any domestic or commercial central heating system.

The project, which is being part funded by the Newcastle Science City Partnership and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is being carried out in the heart of the city under the site of the former Scottish and Newcastle Breweries. As well as heating the planned 24-acre Science Central, which will be home of Newcastle University’s sustainable sciences, the boreholes will draw water up at temperatures of around 80 degrees centigrade to heat other parts of the city including, Eldon Square, the city’s main shopping mall.

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Eco-friendly trains to be manufactured in UK

Britain’s first train manufacturing plant to be built in decades will assemble high-speed trains that will better the sustainability and eco-friendliness of rolling stock in the UK, the company behind the facility said today.
A £4.5 billion Government project, Hitachi Rail Europe’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) will build fully electric and 'bi-mode’ trains, which can switch from electric to diesel power. The new Super Express trains will replace old Intercity 125 model trains, which run on diesel. They will be assembled at a new 460,000 square foot plant in Durham County.

"One of the things that our trains will do is they will use less energy per feet than existing trains, because they’re lighter," said Hitachi Europe spokeswoman Daniela Karthaus. "We will also have more capacity on the trains, so more passengers can travel on them, so that is going to be an environmental benefit."

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Nissan has picked Sunderland to produce a new “ultra-low CO2” emission compact car in a UK

Nissan has picked Sunderland to produce a new "ultra-low CO2" emission compact car in a UK investment programme worth £125 million.
The new model, which was unveiled as a concept car today at the Geneva Motor Show, will go into production at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in 2013, creating 2,000 jobs.

Nissan said the car, currently named 'invitation', will achieve "class-leading levels" of fuel efficiency and emissions and would compete in the so-called B-segment alongside other small cars such as the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo.

It is expected the new model will have an initial production run of 100,000 a year. The UK Government is supporting the investment programme with a £9.3 million grant. As well as boosting employment at the Nissan plant, the project is expected to create thousands of the jobs in the UK automotive supply chain.

Tailpipe emissions
The car will feature a petrol engine, but Nissan said advanced engine technology and an aerodynamically efficient body will optimise fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

The carmaker is aiming for an ultra-low CO2 tailpipe emission target of under 100 grams per kilometre for invitation’s best model, while all versions of the car will be eligible to wear Nissan’s Pure Drive badge. Pure Drive identifies the carmaker’s range of vehicles that produce the lowest emissions, or those which feature technology that reduces fuel consumption significantly.

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Report on British attitudes to immigration and integration

In June 2012, GMF (the German Marshall Fund of the United States) published ‘Parochial and Cosmopolitan Britain: Examining the Social Divide in Reactions to Immigration’ by Robert Ford.

The report shows:

British opinion is negative overall, but strongly divided: The British public is more negative about immigration than that of the other countries surveyed by Transatlantic Trends Immigration (TTI), but they are also more divided over the issue. Age, education, economic security, and migrant heritage all strongly predict views about immigration and immigrants in TTI countries, but the effects are stronger in Britain than elsewhere. These factors also all overlap, both in Britain and elsewhere; in particular, the last three are all related to age. The result is a generational divide over immigration, with older generations much more hostile about immigration than younger cohorts. This divide is wider in Britain than in other TTI countries.

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European Union: Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy

On 25 June 2012, the  Council of the European Union adopted a Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy with an Action Plan for putting it into practice.

This is the first time that the European Union has had a unified Strategic Framework for this vital policy area, with such a wide-ranging plan of action for its implementation.

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