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THE GREAT LAND GRAB A new report says that the majority of global land deals are for biofuels and not, as previously thought, from food deals for Gulf States.


The report by the International Land Coalition says that the evi- dence points to significant threats to the poor in devel- oping countries from land grabs for biofuels produc- tion. The report covers a full decade of land deals from 2000-2010.


“These findings suggest that the scale of land-grab- bing for biofuel production is far worse than previously imagined,” said a spokes- man for Friends of the Earth.


Focus on hydrogen vehicles


Companies sign memorandum as part of Government plan


Businesses might be able to buy hydrogen-powered vehicles with- in the next four years, according to the Business Minister Mark Prisk. Companies including Nissan, Toyota, Vauxhall and Tata Motors, as well as Scottish and Southern Energy and the US-based Air Products have signed a memo- randum of understanding as part of the UK Government’s UKH2Mobility programme to focus more attention on hydro- gen-powered vehicles.


Hydrogen is seen as a great way of moving the UK towards a zero- carbon transport system because it can easily be converted to electric- ity in a fuel cell and because it is carbon free.


UK firms have spent years try- ing to develop and test hydro- gen-powered vehicles, but the UKH2Mobility programme has been designed to enable the UK to become a leading global player in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle


Fuel cell-powered vehicles could soon be a commercial reality


manufacturing alongside the likes of the US, Japan and Germany. First, the programme will evalu-


ate the potential of hydrogen as a transport fuel and will report back to the Government by the end of the year.


Then, if the results are positive, the programme will develop an action plan for an anticipated roll-


out to consumers in 2014/15. “This is an important step for


the automotive sector towards the development of clean vehicle technologies and zero emission mobility,” said Jerry Hardcastle, vice-president for Nissan’s vehicle design and development. “It will lay many of the founda- tions for the commercial deploy- ment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles which could represent a large segment of the UK market in the coming years.” Prisk added: “Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increas- ingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower carbon motoring future. “They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tailpipe emissions.”


UKH2Mobility is part of a £400M investment programme pledged by the Government to support


the development, dem- onstration and deployment of low and ultra-low emission vehicles.


EMISSIONS DOWN


European Environment Agency figures adopted by the European Commission


show that new car CO2 performance improved by almost 4% in 2010. The data also shows individual car manufacturers’ performance in reducing those emissions. Around 13M new cars were registered in the EU in 2010 with average emis-


sions of 140g CO2/km. This is a 3.7% drop compared with average emissions in 2009 and it confirms that car manufacturers are on track to reach the target of 130g


CO2/km to be fully achieved in 2015.


Last year was the first year of monitoring emissions data


under the CO2 from cars regulation. The monitoring process includes the collec- tion of data from Member States by the European Environment Agency and the verification of that data by the manufacturers them- selves.


BRIEFS THE DFT WILL SPEND A FURTHER £60M IN BUS SERVICES ACROSS ENGLAND, TO MAKE THEM GREENER, MORE EFFICIENT, AND EASIER TO USE 8 | Sustainable Business | January/February 2012


DATA


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