The future may be nuclear, says Government — and time is short: The Government yesterday renewed its drive for new nuclear power stations but came under fierce attack over the future of energy generation as critics warned that years of delays mean the UK could face potential power shortages from 2015. The Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, published a package of proposals to help cut carbon emissions and ensure the UK has secure energy supplies in the future as North Sea oil and gas begin to run out. Guardian

Wind, wave and solar power targets will not be met, says white paper: The Government has admitted it is likely to miss its own targets for renewable power generation. Problems with incentives to energy generators, planning curbs and difficulties connecting renewable power to the national grid mean Britain will not be getting 20% of national energy consumption from renewables by 2020. The energy white paper yesterday restated the Government’s commitment to promoting wind and tidal power to cut Britain’s carbon emissions and increase security of supply. Telegraph 

BP scraps its carbon capture project: BP has scrapped plans to build a carbon capture centre in Scotland after the Government’s energy review yesterday delayed a decision on subsidies. Ministers said they planned to launch a competition for a funding award in November — described by the oil giant as “an extension too far” for its ambitious plans to succeed. It has already spent £25m on the project … The spokesman insisted that BP remained committed to carbon capture technology and said the company was working on projects in both Australia and California. But its decision to scrap the Peterhead project will still be seen as a blow to the Government, whose paper drew a mixed reaction from business leaders yesterday. Independent

US tries to freeze climate change talks: The United States is battling to stop next month’s Group of Eight summit in Germany from pushing for urgent talks on a new deal to fight global warming after the Kyoto Protocol lapses in 2012. In a draft of the final communique for the June 6-8 summit seen by Reuters, the Bush administration wants references to the urgency of the climate crisis taken out as well as the need for a United Nations conference in Bali in December to open talks on a new global deal. SMH

Climate change could spark spread of disease: Outbreaks of infectious disease will likely worsen due to global warming, warn scientists at the 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Toronto. “Environmental changes have always been associated with the appearance of new diseases or the arrival of old diseases in new places. With more changes, we can expect more surprises,” said Stephen Morse of Columbia University. Monga Bay

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey